Dear Clients and Friends of James Baye,

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the sudden, accidental death of James Baye. For all inquiries, please email Michaela Boehm at Thank you.

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Pain for Love


Pain for Love

Amazing is
the pain we feel
to love.

All our dreams
all our yearnings
all our desires
for understanding
aim only
to love.

Adventures deep
explorations wide
conquests bold
discoveries sublime
always for
only love.

While we can disguise our reasons
and justify our rationales
our ache is always
for love.

Until the end of time
in the always now
act simply
breath fully
live freely
give always
as love.

Know Your Horses


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Your capacity, agility, and power to move through your life depends upon what is pulling you forward. What you lead with scouts ahead, tests the ground and establishes the course. Like the horses that pull a wagon-coach, your journey depends on what you’re leading with, your journey depends on those horses.

Coaches with only one horse move safely. There is less complication and one horse is easy to take care of. The down side, of course, is one horse can only pull so much. Your one horse has a defined amount of power and capability that you can use. You’ll go a certain speed and carry a certain amount, with little room for expansion. Having only one horse, however, means you have a good chance of truly mastering that creature. As limited as you may be, you’ll come to know and handle that one horse very well.

Two horses can add a lot to your journey. Double the power, widen the load, increase the speed, having two horses enables you to carry much more. With two horses you also gain the opportunity to experience much more. Carrying more with you allows you to meet life in numerous new ways that the limits of one horse couldn’t. You even have the potential of sharing your journey with others, since you have the capacity to hold and carry more.

Of course, you will have more horse mouths now to feed, that requires energy and time. Handling the reins of multiple horses and keeping them in line is more demanding. As well, increasing your capacity to carry more increases your responsibility. You have to ask yourself, is it worth it?

Intriguingly, horses actually provide for each other. They are companions to each other. They end up complimenting each other in a way that promotes them to do their job better. It is through your consistent, intimate relationship with your horses that you notice how they do work together. Side-by-side they provide a lot more and require a little less simply because they collaborate in a way that can only occur when many horses start to work together.

The horses that draw your coach are like the perspectives that govern your life. Having one perspective in life is very safe and easy. While limited in what you’ll come to see and know, one perspective is manageable. You’ll have a good chance of truly mastering that one perspective, having a slow, steady, easy ride in the journey of your life. True, you won’t be able to carry much. With one perspective it is challenging to see another point of view. Your power and speed will also be limited, moving at a steady and defined rate. Not a lot of spontaneity or creativity with just one perspective. And, only a few others may have the opportunity to join you, for one perspective, like one horse, can only handle so much.

To honestly gain some good ground, to truly achieve the things you want to do in life, you’ll need more than one horse, you need more than one perspective.


Both horses and perspectives provide power, knowledge and capacity. Multiple perspectives enable you to understand, feel and do more. You become better able to relate and communicate with others. As you gain more perspectives, you become quicker at maneuvering within the terrain of your life. You become less stuck in your life, and have fewer moments of constraint because you have greater capacity to hold more.

As with horses, a relationship between your perspectives develops. One perspective somehow informs the others. You begin to make connections that you were not able to before. Since multiple horses can pull you into more challenging terrain, you become more comfortable and able to experience a greater expanse of the world that you couldn’t with just one. No longer are you concerned that your one horse will not be able to make it through.

Yet, both horses and perspectives also require significant respect, refinement and practice in handling them. Horses can be wild. So can perspectives. Horses can become spooked and out of control. As can perspectives. Without proper care, one horse can disrupt the whole team, leading them astray and causing the load to be unmanageable. Same too with an unchecked perspective.

Over time, you may observe that you have a regular lead horse, one that consistently keeps your team in line. This is similar to a perspective that you tend to use first when making sense of your life. A horse that will boldly stride forward into your life influencing the additional perspectives you decide to take on.

It’s important to know your lead horse. You’ll want to know all your horses as best as you can. Yet, your lead horse is the one who keeps your coach aligned. Start with knowing this perspective the best.

Your lead horse is the one you first go forward with. Not always the strongest or the wisest, but for some reason the one that you naturally trust to follow. This horse provides a particular perspective, one you have come to rely upon, one that allows the capacities of your other horses to show up.

Each perspective you have provides you with very particular insights, capabilities and knowledge. Naming your perspectives clearly and distinctly allows you to see which one is running strong or lagging behind. In the moments when you stop to take a rest from your journey, you can take care of your horses, knowing which ones need special attention, since you have come to name them clearly and know them well.

Named horses run stronger. Perspectives that lack clarity simply can’t provide the same for you as the ones that are clearly named. They become ambiguous and conflate into each other, not fully being able to stand strong and distinct in their offering (purpose). A horse that is known well can be used well. It can be strengthened and trained, respected and loved. A well loved horse will work over-time for you, carrying you through the most difficult of times, and gently walking beside you when life is at ease.

Horses do grow old and weary, and some simply stop working well with the team. To live authentically means to know when your perspectives are no longer serving you. You must learn when to retire a horse, out of love and respect for both your horse and your self. There is no integrity in running a horse to the ground. It’s an unsafe deed to do. Lives are in danger when horses and perspectives are pushed beyond their time. Far better to graciously lead your well-worked horse to an open field to eat and wander. Far better to allow your well-used perspective to rest and be known for the bounty it’s brought you. Discernment of when to put a horse to pasture only comes from honestly knowing your horses well. Their individuality, their nuances and their limitations truly known.

The intimacy you can develop with each of your horses can be potentially profound. Your capacity to be in your life, to be with others, to be in the world expands. You’ll go places and experience things you couldn’t have on your own. Holding the reins of multiple perspectives is a challenging task, and your responsibility will grow. You will have to come to terms with how worth it that risk is to you. At what scope do you wish to run strong, agile and free? How many horses does it take for you to live your life well? And how willing are you to truly name and know the perspectives that lead you into your life? The ones that can swiftly take you into freedom, and the ones that require gentle loving care.

Whole-hearted and intelligent relationship with your perspectives provides for you. Your horses want to work hard for you, yet they do require specific attention. Taking your horses for granted leads to a haphazard life journey – a life that meanders partially through the weight of your will, and partially through the unrefined whims of your perspectives. Naming your horses, acutely defining each of your perspectives, instigates the path to mastering them. From here on out, take the reins, know what you lead your life with.

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Breathing Through


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When you experience pain what do you do? Does it depend on the type of pain? Would your choice of action change if it was physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual pain? Regardless, if you jump around after stubbing your toe, scream aloud when your lover pisses you off, or seclude yourself after failing financially, when you experience some form of pain you contract. You tighten up to protect yourself. This is a natural reaction. You were living at some level of openness, it was wounded, and now you are contracting in order to protect and recover.

The problem arises when you choose to stay contracted. You were living with a certain degree of openness, you got hurt, and now you are living with a lesser degree of openness. You have closed up. While you might feel safer in this protected place, the truth of who you are is more open. The way to move back to your previous open state is to breath through your pain.

You may have heard this phrase before “breath through your pain”, but what exactly does that mean. When you breathe through your nose and mouth your lungs expand and fill with air. Air contains oxygen, which is a fundamental element we require to live. So essentially, when you breath in, your are inhaling life force. Every time you inhale you are drawing in vital air, expanding your lungs, nourishing your entire being. The key word here is expand. You breath in and you expand.

Next time you see somebody in pain watch his breathing. His breathing probably will be very shallow and constricted or he might be holding his breath. Most people when then experience an intense burst of pain tightly hold their breath, which actually increases the pain. Life-giving oxygen is no longer moving freely, it’s become stagnant. In any moment, the longer you hold your breath the more acutely stuck you become in what is going on for you.

Breathing through your pain is to expand through your pain. This can be done with any type of pain – physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual. You can practice this now while you are comfortable and safe.

Take a long, slow, deep breath through your nose and exhale just as slowly. Only pause briefly as you switch from inhale to exhale and exhale to inhale. Repeat this a few times to feel a rhythm. Now, pick a body part. The back of your right hand, your left knee or your lower back. Continue to breath in and out with long, slow, deep breathes yet now become aware of that body part. Keep breathing in the same rhythmic pattern while keeping your attention on that physical area.

After a minute or so of doing this feel the breath come in both through your nose and in through you chosen body area. Inhale through your elbow, toe, or tummy. Once you’ve reached the fullness of the breath, exhale through your nose and also the body area. If you are having trouble, simply feel the body area as acutely as possible. Feel the texture on the skin and the muscles below. If you need to, place your hand on that body part to become more in contact with it. With your breath still long, slow and deep keep feeling the sensation of that area. Now again, shift your breathing so that you are breathing through that area.

This is a practice you can do anywhere. Pick a body part and breath through it. When you’re ready, do this when experiencing physical pain. If you feel sharp, tightness in a joint, feel it acutely and breathe slowly through it. If you have a headache, feel the throbbing pressured ache and breathe through it. When next you stub your toe and are jumping around the room, feel the intensity of the pain and breathe through it.

This may appear very basic and whimsical, yet the profundity of this simple practice is truly immense. People have endured and expanded through intense amounts of suffering, from all forms of injury and disease, including battle wounds and cancer, by breathing through their pain. This technique has been taught and practiced across the world for thousands of years, opening individuals through their painful contractions.

And what is fascinating, is this technique can be used for any type of pain. Distraught because you did terrible at an interview, feel the distraught-ness and breath through it. Horrified because somebody stole your laptop with your life’s work on it, feel the gut-dropping horror, and breath through it. Scared to open up to another person who may break your heart, feel your vulnerable fear, and breath steadily through it. Long, slow, deep breathes through any over-whelming emotion, mental anguish, spiritual turmoil, or physical pain to once again open you up to the truth of who you are.

It is your choice to stay contracted while experiencing pain. You have every right to protect yourself from further damage. It is completely reasonable to be cautious and avoid vulnerability. Yet why not see what happens when you do that AND breathe through your pain. Break your arm, feel the engulfing pain, hold it close to your body, and carefully make your way to the hospital while breathing through your pain. The fear of exposing yourself to somebody new arises, speak cautiously to avoid having your heart stung and breath through your fear. Experience fully the heart wrenching anguish of losing your child to cancer while slowly and deeply breathing through the immense suffering you will carry for some time.

It is important to know that – breathing through your pain will not get rid of the pain. Suffering will end when the many variables that are involved have either burnt out or faded away. This may take moments or an entire lifetime. What breathing through offers is a way to stay open in the midst of that. Your desire to stay open through your lifetime, with unavoidable moments of pain, discomfort and suffering, depends solely on how authentic you wish your life to be. Experience pain, contract in reaction, and stay living less than who you are. Or practice breathing through the cuts, kicks, and torment, opening and expanding wider than your reaction. Until every moment you breathe is a complete authentic expression of the life you are experiencing right now.

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Are You Missing a Face?


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When you look in the mirror, who is it that is looking back at you? What is it you see in that reflection? Do you notice hair, eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, ears, neck, all crafted together to form what is called your face. Perhaps you see a person who is called father, mother, wife, husband, teacher, lawyer, database technician, or athlete; a montage of caricatures that you enliven and bring to the world. Or, maybe, when your eyes meet that mirrored surface, who you see is your self.

Whichever it is, you are right. These are all accurate representations of you. You are a collection of body parts, somehow put together in a form called human. In this way you are unique, and not. You have your own individual physical characteristics and you are also a cookie-cut-out of the human being. In the basic format of physical reality, you are a body with specific human characteristics. This can’t be denied. You can see it in the mirror.

Yet, regardless of your shape, structure, and particular anatomy, you are involved in a myriad of relationships. You are a daughter or son. You are a friend, neighbour, employer or employee. You are someone who is defined by the relationships you are in. As you look in the mirror and see nurse, salesman, artist, clerk, storyteller, accountant, or consumer you are noticing the various guises you wear that hold meaning to you and those you are in contact with. A necessary and vital aspect of who you are is found in the collage of roles that you animate. This can’t be denied. You can see you in the mirror.

It is you however, that is standing in front of the mirror. It is your self looking in. Over time your roles and physique will change. Your face may become worn down or scarred, your relationships will shift, yet you will still be the one checking out your reflection. The self that will always only be you, is right there, staring back off that polished surface. This can’t be denied. You can see I in the mirror.

Your body, your relationships, your self – all are there in the reflection of your life. All are important and inseparable. To deny one, is to reject one of your three vital faces, a whole one-third of your totality, and huge slice of your reality.

With the face of your self, with the face of “I”, you are breathing as an individual. “I understand”, “I feel”, “I want”, “I believe.” Dynamic individuality, a deep sense of meaning and the unique perspective of one-ness emerge from the face of “I”. The essence of your “I” is unlike any other. In fact, there is truly only one “I”. From this most profound place, beauty arises. In the eye of the beholder there is absolute knowingness.

Turn your other cheek and you’ll notice your other face, the one that others see. It is only in relationship with others that you will ever know goodness, value, love. You are always a part of a “we”, and in that part you are whole. Within “we-ness” there is shared significance, mutuality and intimacy. Small and great events occur because of the synergy within togetherness, we-ness, us-ness. The feeling of “our life”, “our commitment”, “our expression” moves as a collective force. This face of “we”, a birthright of yours, is the whole of all of us.

And still, some thing exists. It is beyond what “I” or “we” could ever experience. Your third face observes and interacts without a sense of self, individual or collective. “It” senses everything, and perceives nothing. All meaning is created from the discoveries of this face, yet not by it. “It” provides the pure, never-ending details of reference that your other faces require to live. Your third face is the facts, the forms, the outside. Without imparting belief, this tangible physical face of yours provides an irreproachable view to a life that is ever changing.

How could you feel complete without acknowledging your three faces? Through the eyes of your self-self you see understanding, fantasy, awareness, and fear. Through the eyes of your we-self you see mutuality, commonality, language, and love. Through the eyes of your it-self you see things, processes, functionality, and design. Why would you want to deny one of these views? Why would you want to limit the glory of your existence to the apprehension one of your faces?

Preferences and conditioning have caused you to lean into the truth of one of your faces more than the others. You have found comfort resting in only one view. The one face you choose to see in the mirror has provided you with great meaning, reward, and relief. To open the eyes of your other faces, and admit there is more that you are not awake to, can be an unnerving and enlightening choice.

An authentic life, a fully integrated life, asks that you start admitting that you are all that. Open the eyes of your self and admit that you are feelings, awareness, insight, and imagination. See the reflection of your we-ness and acknowledge that you are relationship, collaboration, exchange, and conflict. Allow the image of your it-ness to be known as appearance, structure, process, and body. In that gesture, you give life to your entire self. In the simple act of confessing you do exist in these ways, the wrinkles of your three faces begin to relax. As you continually breath in the reality of this all-pervading truth, you gain the capacity to stand wide open as a human being with an endless face.

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Zoom In and Out of Experience


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Imagine being in a plane. Up in the air a couple thousand feet, safe, comfortable and looking out the window. Down below you see a large amusement park. You can see the various thrilling rides and carnival tents. From your vantage point you notice the rollercoaster – several coaster-cars joined together, quietly gliding, smoothly and gracefully, creating elegant arcs along parallel tracks. As you get comfortable in your seat for the duration of your flight, the movements of the rollercoaster appear colourful and effortless.

Now, zoom in.
Imagine being on that rollercoaster. As a passenger you’ve just rode up a steep angled track for what feels like at least a couple hundred feet, listening to the consistent metal clicks of the rollercoaster track clasps, while being squished against the side of a hard metal car by your screaming friend. From your vantage point the noise of the total environment is crowded with piercing shrieks, frantic shouts, and ridiculous cries, combined with the bleeping, buzzing and whistling of the amusements. Loud obnoxious music of some bizarre style keeps the scene tweaked in excitement. The warm summer night air is brushing against your skin as you vaguely are aware of the sweat building on your forehead and palms. Flashing colors of psychedelic proportions populate the lights, structures and costumes to an over-exaggerated level of engagement.

Suddenly, the dependable clicks of rising machinery stop, as the coaster reaches its pinnacle and lurches over into a plummet towards the ground. Speed increases rapidly as you and several other screaming individuals are driven towards a bottom turn that causes your stomach to quickly remind you about the greasy over-priced dinner you woofed down just twenty minutes earlier. As the car hurtles up and over a small slanted rise you feel both the pressure of your friend’s full body weight forcing you into the front metal bar and an intense throbbing of blood coursing in your head.

Now, zoom in even more.
Imagine you are a blood cell coursing through a body. You’ve just streamed by a thin layer of alveolar lung tissue and collected an oxygen molecule on both your top and bottom surfaces. You feel full. You are gracefully moving along a familiar route through the pulmonary artery into the turbulent rhythmic beats of the heart. From your vantage point you note that the increased speed at which the heart is pumping correlates to the increased rhythm that the lungs are breathing. At this speed you know you will be back to the heart quicker than normal. You swirl in and out of the corners of the heart’s left chambers, up, around and down the aortic arch. Due to where you are in the stream you bypass the renal and colonic arteries. It appears you are heading into the lower extremities. You calmly drop off your molecular load as you fluidly cruise through a capillary, deep within the calf of somebody’s leg.


Every experience you have is the outcome of a specific perspective. From a particular vantage point you encounter the world, and it’s from that vantage point that you face limitation. Since each individual perspective is limited, your experience of the enormity of life becomes exceedingly partial and small when you chose to look at the world from only one perspective. In that fragmented place, contraction comes easily. You may find yourself defending your point of view, feeling alone or stuck with no where to go. This feeling of limitation and of being trapped is the cause of suffering.

Usually it appears so important to hold on to your limited perspective. However, the truth is…the freedom of an authentic life arises from the ability to hold multiple perspectives. The more vantage points you can access, the greater clarity you will act with since your insight will come from more than one small perspective. An easy way to start is to zoom in and out of a situation.

A rollercoaster can be a wild ride. Its overwhelming qualities can lock us into forgetting everything else, experiencing only the adrenalized excitement. Yet, you can zoom in and out of this experience. While riding the rollercoaster your awareness can zoom out to take the whole scene in, like watching from an airplane. Take the entire scene in. View it from an over-arching vantage point. Do so, and your initial experience begins to loosen up. Suddenly, you aren’t just a person having an intense experience, you are aware of that intense experience plus so much more that is also going on. Zooming out into space provides the space to experience the scene from a very different vantage point, one of freedom and possibility.

Similarly, you can zoom into the microscopic. Each part of what you call you has its own unique perspective. What is your hair’s perspective? How about your tongue’s or your liver’s? Each red blood cell pumping through your body is on that rollercoaster too. Is it experiencing something different than it normally does? Can that red blood cell tell if you are on a rollercoaster or going for a jog? Its experience is going to give you a new insight that will be very different from what you were calling your own. And yet, you were able to access that perspective as well.

The next time you are in a movie theatre, enthralled and watching the enticing drama unfold, take a moment to shift your outlook. Even if the movie is very good you can choose to change your focus. Pull your attention from the screen and zoom out to become aware of the full audience as well. Look around at the people intently watching the movie. You haven’t lost track of the movie, yet you have created space between you and the movie. You now have a sudden freedom, increased movement, and greater possibility. If you can do that, you are also capable of pulling yourself out of other limited perspectives.

Practice this in varying situations.
Having coffee with friends, zoom out and let your awareness fill the coffee shop. Zoom in and feel the warm liquid on your tongue, flowing down into your stomach. Sitting in a boring business meeting. Zoom in and feel the sweat under your arms. Zoom out and experience the meeting as if viewing it from behind a glass wall. In every moment that you can zoom in and zoom out of your primary experience, you are opening yourself up to greater freedom and possibility.

By tweaking your lens of perspective taking you are training yourself in the unending form of an integrated awareness – the ability to take multiple perspectives while staying freely functioning. Staying stuck on the rollercoaster of life will always be limiting. By enhancing your ability to take multiple perspectives you will eventually find yourself able to take any perspective. Your experiences will no longer be limited to a thin slice from the infinite magnitude of life.

Zoom in and out of conflict. Zoom in and out of pain. Zoom in and out of joy, confusion, pleasure and all experiences positive or negative. Practice this especially in times when you feel most overwhelmed or intense. By doing this in as many situations as possible you’ll gain new insights, and a creative lightness of being only possible when you can unstuck yourself from fragmented views. The only thing you lose is a limited, contracted experience. What kind of lens do you wish to experience your life with?

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Your Body for Everyone


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Try this.
Wherever you are right now place your attention on your physical body. With your awareness feel all you can of your body. The back of your hands, the curve of your cheeks, the front of your chest, and the tops of your feet. What else can you feel? Do you have any tight, knotted or sore muscles? Any joints that ache? Scan and feel your whole body. Your butt on the seat, the tops of your thighs, your ears and nostrils. Now take a few moments to feel a part of your body very intensely. Place all your attention on one area of your body and experience it fully. Close your eyes and focus on that area for thirty seconds.

Try this.
Wherever you are right now put all your attention on what is going on around you. With your senses become aware of all that you can of your surroundings. How close people physically are, what objects are near you, the air temperature and any smells. What else can you feel? Do you hear any faint sounds? Any thing moving around you? Can you hear conversations? Scan and sense the whole environment. Textures of objects, shades of light, music and voices, things of different colours and temperature. Now take a few moments to sense one part your surroundings very intensely. Place all you attention on one aspect of your environment and experience it fully. Open your eyes and focus on that area for thirty seconds.

Try this.
Wherever you are put all your attention on the space that is around everything. With your entire being, sense and feel all you can of that emptiness. The space immediately around you, over your shoulders, between your legs, the area between this page and your face. What else can you feel? Out beyond the area your are in feel the space over the land, past your country and over the ocean. Do you know where space ends? Where it begins? Become aware of the farthest space you can feel in all directions. Literally press into it. Take a few moments to feel emptiness intensely. Place all your attention on the space that extends from you to infinity. Close your eyes and feel space deeply for thirty seconds.


Training of all types takes time, patience, and continual practice. If you wish to make any progress all exercise requires a commitment. You already know this. Whether you exercise consistently or not, you are very aware of the benefits that physical exercise provides to your whole life. Research continues to demonstrate how a healthy physical body contributes to a healthy mental, emotional, psychological, sexual, and relational life. Your family and friends benefit from you being healthy, as does your culture, your community and nation. In fact, the whole planet can prosper when you exercise.

Does that seem far-fetched, hard to believe? It does when you only focus on your own physical body during exercise. Being aware of only your own body when you exercise is a narcissistic endeavour. Regardless of the sport or activity that you are involved in, if you only focus on what is happening with your body, then your training is just about you. No one and no thing else will gain from your efforts. Yes, you will be healthier and you can then use your physically fit body to then help others. But, your exercising itself will still be self-centred, self-fulfilling, and self-promoting. All your physical movements will just be about your finite form.

Being self-centred when you exercise is absolutely fine, there is nothing wrong with that. It is however, more closed than you are capable of being. The full expanse of who you are is reflective of what you experienced above, when asked to feel the subtleties of your immediate environment and then out into the surrounding infinite space. Your being is truly that wide open. You probably just didn’t realize it.

You use your physical body to understand and relate to the world. It brings you sensory information and allows you to physically interact in the world. The better you train your physical body the better you become at physically being in the world. To relate with the world though, requires another body that you possess. Think of it as another layer that extends out from your physical body. This is the part of you that is able to feel into the environment.

Feeling how close somebody is to you, if they are in your personal space, is part of that subtle sensing body. For example, hearing a lilt in a person’s voice to know if they are lying, you are capable of this because your subtle body is relating with the nuances around you. In this case with the person speaking to you. While parts of your physical body are used to be aware of the environment, it is your subtle body that feels into the surroundings and relates with them.

Your subtle body can be strengthened just like your physical body can: with exercise. While you are involved in a sport or activity, instead of focusing on your body, focus on the environment around you. Become acutely aware and very precise with what you are focusing on. If you are playing squash and about to whack the ball, instead of placing your attention on your arm and leg position, spread your awareness out into the court. Feel intensely how close the walls are. The temperature of the air. Your partner’s breathing. With as much focus and precision as you are capable of hitting that ball, flex your awareness into the environment.

Next time you go for a run, swim, play tennis, lift weights, shoot hoops instead of focusing on the physical aspect of the activity, practice placing your focus on the environment. Do the motions as you normally would, with good form and intensity. Yet also, strengthen your subtle body by stretching your awareness into specific parts of the environment. The tempo of the music, the texture of the trees around you, the shape of the equipment. The key is to focus and strengthen your ability to feel into a particular aspect of your surroundings with as much intensity as you would focus on a muscle or your breathing.

Exercising your subtle body like this strengthens your ability to relate with the world. Two bodies interacting is just two pieces of flesh running into each other. There is no real significance to this, no true connection. Two bodies of tissue moving, bumping along relating to each other. If that can be called relating. Yet those bodies, when they extend beyond the limit of their own barriers, can relate with each other in the interaction of their subtle bodies. This is where all communication and intimacy exists. It is your capacity to use your subtle body that brings significance to your physical interactions. Whether it be delicious sexual ravishment or a solid intent-full handshake, without interaction of your subtle body, all physical motion is the play of meat puppets.

You’ve been using your subtle body all your life most likely without knowing it. By purposely exercising it as you would your physical body you can become more acquainted with this indispensable aspect of your self. For thousands of years traditions all over the world have developed and utilized exercises for the subtle body. The fundamentals of such practices have now been untangled from the cultural aesthetics and can be utilized in nearly any form of exercise.

With practice you will be able to focus on both your physical and subtle body at the same time. Switching back and forth, resting astutely in both. Learning how to pinpoint your attention to exquisite detail in openness. The majesty of your physical body is the doorway to the boundless magnificence of your subtle body. Layers upon subtle nuanced layers shifting and weaving together bringing depth, meaning and relation to the limited physically time-bound complexity of cells called your body. Living with the world is a choice that extends who you are into the open, beyond merely living as a body in the world. It is in this manner that you can exercise for the benefit of all.

Exercising like this moves more energy because you are in conscious contact with more energy. The fibres of your muscles and ligaments will become exhausted from maximum strain far before the oceanic capacity of your subtle body. When fatigue starts to shut down your exercising efforts assess where your focus is. If your attention is on your own body, you have run into the limits of your physical form. Shift your awareness to the ever-reaching expanse of your subtle being and feel free from constraint. Move your attention to the felt sense you possess that is beyond your physical body – opening your capacity wider than ever before.

Of course the habitual recoil of your physical body will pull you back. Strengthening your subtle form can only stretch your physical form so far. Your tissue and organ self will still have limits. With practice, however, that recoil will lessen. Each action you make is as deep in magnitude as you are capable of felt focus. As you exercise, focusing intently on the sensations of your physical body, extending with precision beyond into the awareness of your subtle body, the open intensity you are truly capable of moving with becomes apparent.

In that intensity you will meet the edges of your relationship with the world. Discovering the walls you hide behind and what you hold back when the world asks you to engage. Opening wider in your training, greater than your limited self is capable of, requires you to be with the world as it is. Holding back in any aspect of your life ripples as an edge in your exercise regime. Going deeper is a choice you are capable of making even when the intensity of training is threatening to rip you apart.

And then, feel the air. There is a calm behind all the intensity. The space that extends from your physical form to infinity holds the immense experience of all beings. Emptiness you feel around you now is the same as the endless expanse that has always been. The capacity of your subtle body eventually fades out into the forever present reaches of that emptiness. Feeling into that space you live as the world.

When the intensity of exercise shudders through you, feel into the space around you. As the heaviness of fast-paced aerobic activity constricts your breathing and burns the fibres of your muscles, feel into the space. When your subtle senses are overwhelmed from the strain of felt focus into the surroundings, feel into the space. Regardless of the amount of distraction or scorch from the burn, feel into the space that is always empty, always still.

Every whack of a ball, every push of a pedal, every lift of a weight, every stroke, posture, and step is immersed in spaciousness. Living as the world is living in the fullness of the actions you make and as the space that permeates all actions. All your training is completely drenched in the quiet freedom of emptiness. You are completely capable of feeling this space. The largest layer of your human form is this space. How could you feel it otherwise? How would you be able to perceive the emptiness that surrounds and pervades all things without having some kind of body to do so? Your wide-open body is this spacious body, and with it you live as everything.

Here you are connected to all people, all life, all manifestation. Your muscles are only in your body, space is of all bodies. Emptiness out beyond the edges is where all being-ness arises from. You’ve experienced this awareness before. The quiet within the chaos, the noiseless awe of beauty, that timeless moment when you truly meet somebody’s eyes. In fact, your experience of it is the proof that it exists. As it is always there, you can access it at any time. Like every felt awareness your wide-open being can be strengthened.

Your ability to live in, with and as the world is based on your commitment to opening. To learn about and exercise your three bodies does require the desire to deepen your efforts. It does take work. Training the open focus of your physical, subtle, and spacious bodies demands concentration and an authentic aspiration to live for more than your self. The choice is completely yours – to exercise solely for the sake of your limited self or to also exercise for the benefit of limitless others. The world or your ego. Either way, you lose nothing, you only gain. Still unsure? Feel the space around you. In that nothingness all fullness occurs. A free bountiful healthy strong body, mind, and spirit in relation with others as the world, or, a fit body doing its own thing. How authentically wide-open do you wish to be?

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Gender Lens – the play of Dynamic & Static Energies

Profound coaching utilizes well-founded models of human development for the sake of comprehending a client’s particular path, challenges, way of being – in essence …their life. While no two people are exactly alike, most humans follow similar, well travelled trajectories of personal growth and transformation. Individual personalities will always experience these paths uniquely, yet the depth of the journey is often the same for most of us. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of such models available to understand various aspects of human development. Integral Coaching™ accesses the wisdom and power of several such models.

Integral Coaching Canada (ICC) terms the models they use as a “lens”, for it is one “view”, one “perspective” that an Integral Coach™ looks through in order to understand their clients. The coordinated use of many lenses help us understand where our clients are at and how they are doing in their lives. Its through the use of several lenses that an Integral Coach crafts a client’s AQAL Constellation™.

Even if you are not an ICC Integral Coach you will find some tremendous value in looking at the lens I am writing about today.

One of my favourite lenses is the Gender lens. ICC actually uses three distinct models within their Gender lens – Gender in the World, Gender in Relationship, Gender Patterns. This posting will focus on what I call the “Gender Pattern” of a client, or the gender energetics a client is experiencing.

This model is based on the unique and powerful work of Gareth S. Hill Ph.D., a Jungian analyst and clinical social worker in Berkeley, California. His book “Masculine and Feminine: the natural flow of opposites in the psyche” was published in 1992. While I think it is under appreciated for its depth and range of implication, it no doubt has served thousands of clinicians to better notice what phase and potential pathologies of life their clients are experiencing. His work has also given many people an understanding of the flow of cosmic energy that they find themselves in at various times in their lives. I use the word “cosmic” to indicate an energy flow that appears and feels beyond any control that we may have personal possession of. While we can certainly use this knowledge to make choices towards what we want, we are also always part of a larger flow of cosmic life that is beyond our tiny grasp – even though we may be able to catch glimpses of it through a well-crafted lens.

This “natural flow of opposites in the psyche” that Hill helps us dive into has four main patterns that we all experience in our lives:

  • The Static Feminine
  • The Dynamic Masculine
  • The Static Masculine
  • The Dynamic Feminine

Since this lens works with the archetypal energies of existence (as primarily revealed by Jung), I am going to use a semi-archetypal movie to portray a feel for these four energies, as well as a healthy manner in which we may move between them. X-Men 3 – “The Last Stand”, which came out in 2006, brilliantly displays the path through these major patterns and their lived energies. It is necessary to remember that a person will travel through this flow in their own way, at their own pace – yet, as Hill points out – the flow only moves in one direction. Pathology can cause a block or stagnation, yet the flow is eternally in one powerful direction; an important distinction that is vital in the development and directionality of a profound coaching program.

In the following clips from X-Men 3 we follow Logan, also known as Wolverine – one of the main characters in the X-Men series, on his path through the flow of these four patterns. It is essential to note that these four archetypal energetic patterns work within the microcosm and macrocosm of our lives. Once you start to notice the flow of these energies you will see them in your hour-to-hour, day-to-day exchanges, as well as in the larger scale of your life; which (once you get over the awe of that truth), you will be able to utilize for the development of your own life, as well as that of your clients.

In the movie Logan’s path moves quickly. As a character (established in the previous films and comic books) we know Logan (aka Wolverine) to be his own man, a lone wolf conquering the world, known as the Dynamic Masculine.

    Look of the Dynamic Masculine    

We are introduced to this scene of chaos, a training ground for younger X-Men mutants. The scene itself is representative of what the Dynamic Masculine loves – intensity, fire, war, power, chaos – all things that are to be overcome and conquered. For the Dynamic Masculine there is a freedom that is based within the surrender to the inevitable energy needed to over-come the impossible.

We see everybody else running around looking concerned, afraid of the intensity, yet Wolverine who focuses on taking initiative and single-minded focus of “slaying the dragon” has very few concerns at all.

Nothing phases him. Notice how he casually strolls through the chaos, not showing any outward concern about anybody, though very present to what is happening around him. His face gets bashed with a large chunk of hot metal and he just nonchalantly shakes it off (and regrows his tissue like only Wolverine can).

Within the building intensity around him, he stays calm, lighting his cigar off a burning car. His statements are clear, concise and always about the focus of the mission. His humour is crude and deprecating, yet sharp and accurate, with a macho bravado. When he is protected by Storm he doesn’t say thank you, he shakes it off, and focuses only on his own in the moment truth “That was my last cigar!”

Like an arrogant all-star player he also knows that he can save the day. Instead of bringing the team together and helping the new players (trainees) get better, he initiates the ending by walking into the danger, using the tools available to him for the most effective completion of the mission. Man to man he gives Colossus the only compliment in the whole scene, based on the move that helped Logan slay the dragon.

This is all classic Dynamic Masculine play. For those clients that are residing in that pattern, they will easily identify with Wolverine in this scene. “Come on, what else was he to do”, they will say. “He’s got the power and he saved the others from getting hurt.” For clients in this energy there is often clear and direct focus, a move towards more power. Its not about teamwork or learning, its about getting it done.

Wolverine in this scene is the essence of bad-boy tough-ass macho know-it-all. Its hard to argue with somebody when they are heavily in this pattern. This is the domain of competition, self-mastery, and building of power – which then leads to the individuation process. Men and women who are ready to really step into their Dynamic Masculine often venture forth into the unknown. For many this is the first overseas trip on their own, heading out to where they have to survive only on who they really are. This is a time of immense power, focus, determination, fire energy – the knight goes to kill a fire-breathing dragon. Some may have to start a business on their own, go off into the woods, or do radical things that seem out of character. In a variety of ways, in order to initiate the momentum necessary for their Dynamic Masculine journey, a client may also need a vision quest of some sort. Paulo Coehllo’s famed book The Alchemist is a brilliant story of a young man who enters such a quest.

The move into the Dynamic Masculine is the first big step away from the Static Feminine, where we all start from. The Static Feminine is the mother archetype. The fundamental first move away from the Static Feminine towards the Dynamic Masculine is made is when babies start to crawl away from their mother. They will venture forth a little bit and then look back to mom to see if it is okay. A nod from mom and the child goes a little further. The day eventually comes when the child doesn’t look back to check and simply ventures out on her own, believing she can handle it. While this can happen at any age, there are common cycles many people experience in their lives.

Notice how we continue to do this in our own lives. From the known safety of whatever is called home (whether we like “home” or not – it is what is known, there is some degree of comfort) we venture out into the wilderness, looking over our shoulder a few times to ensure it’s okay, and then we take that last step…free into whatever awaits. This can be a crucial time for a client. This is also the domain of many pathologies.

Attachment to the “mother” , in the many comforts and distractions that we all like to surround ourselves with, can be a lifetime of work to detach from.

  • With some clients you will be helping them engage the energy of their Dynamic Masculine in order to go into the quests they need to.
  • With other clients you will be showing them the challenges and pain they may be experiencing because they have not stepped clear enough away from the Static Feminine.
  • With these clients, developing individuation skills will be essential.

    Depth and Reason of the Static Masculine    

The energetic pattern that lies beyond the Dynamic Masculine is the Static Masculine. The term static can be deceptive. It does not mean lazy nor complacent. On the contrary, the static masculine is the domain of rules and regulations. The Static Masculine arose in history when we wanted more order and standards instead of the unfair reign of tyranny. The Static Masculine is the first place in which we take full responsibility for our actions and are accountable to a system of meaning.

The archetype here is obviously that of the Great Father – the one who overlooks and protects us. And that is what the Static Masculine provides – true safety and protection. The only reason we have created rules and regulations, hierarchy and systems is to stay safe. This then allows us to accomplish more which leads to greater freedom. We can finally relax and enjoy life because stability has been secured. The Static Masculine is aware of the play of power, and why it needs to be controlled. He takes responsibility for the calculated risks that will serve the greatest good, and will be accountable to his choices. Whereas the Dynamic Masculine only considers the free flow of choice, such that he has access to power whenever, for whatever he alone wants. The goal of the masculine, both Dynamic and Static, is always about greater freedom – the difference is in the way they go about accomplishing it.

In this scene we see two other characters – Charles Xavier, known as Professor X, and Jean Grey, known as The Phoenix. The back story is that Jean is what is called a class 5 mutant, the most powerful expression of energy ever seen. Professor X, whose “talent” is mind control, found her as a little girl and created a system of mind blocks that allowed Jean to live a fairly normal life. He set up a structure to keep her safe.

We see that Logan thinks that this is bullshit. Logan believes Professor X is controlling Jean, and that she should have the right to authentically “be who she is”. This is the constant play between the Dynamic and Static Masculine. The Dynamic Masculine wants freedom to do and be whatever he wants, and believes everybody should also have that same right. He will fight for and rebel against the hold of the Static Masculine. The Static Masculine however (who has grown from the Dynamic Masculine) rests in knowing what structure actually provides. From his viewpoint, freedom comes from stabilization. Building a strong river bank will protect our homes from the strong flow of the river. While building walls around the kingdom may block out the view (one expression of freedom), we are protected from marauders and enemies so we can relax more (another form of freedom).

It is important to remember – neither the Dynamic or Static Masculine are ultimately more “right” than the other. They are both necessary, and will happen anyways – since life demands both. Pathology arises when we can’t get out of one. You may notice your clients stuck in one of these patterns. From their perspective, theirs is the right way to do things, and will have a vast amount of rationale to stand firm in that partial truth. For the Dynamic Masculine the Static Masculine is almost always the path to less freedom. A feeling of complacency, stuckness, no creativity, no fun, no energy – and this is true enough – it is static.

Today, many men in our culture find themselves stuck in a place of turmoil because what they observe as the Static Masculine is not what they want to become. Many fathers of the last three generations are not the fathers young men want to emulate, and thus there are few solid role models of what the Static Masculine is for the 21st century. In previous times in history while the boy may not have wanted to grow up, there was a solid community of men to become part of, that, once entered, provided way more to the boy that he thought was possible. Today that is often not the case.

As we see in this clip, even though Professor X has provided endlessly to Logan, Jean, and a huge host of mutants for their safety and comfort (they all live in a fancy mansion school and are very well taken care of), Logan wants less restraints for Jean – which to him means freedom.

This play often continues until the Dynamic Masculine gets a sense of what the Static Masculine is really standing for; of why he has established the structures, laws, rules, hierarchies that he has. It usually takes a massive force of uncontrollable power for Dynamic Masculine to understand the depth of love and values that the Static Masculine truly possess.

What you may observe in your clients is a relentless disregard of the Static Masculine. Men and women who are in the energy of stabilizing their Dynamic Masculine often “Question Authority”, need to break the rules, and don’t care who is in their way. They may speak of the “old guard” who “just doesn’t get it”. Depending where your client is within his/her trajectory, they may be in a healthy expression of Dynamic Masculine (wanting to push the edges, looking for new solutions, not taking no for an answer, living out of the box, taking it to the limit, standing my ground) or they may be stuck within an unhealthy expression of the Dynamic Masculine (showing them who is boss, breaking free, giving them what they deserve, pushing back, getting what is mine).

Notice how the healthy expression focuses on Individuation – becoming more of “me”, what I stand for, seeing how far I can go. Where as the unhealthy expression tends to be me against another. When you note your client needing to “break free from other”, a profound coaching move would be to establish deeper Dynamic Masculine individuation by helping them become more secure in their own personal boundaries. This deepens and stabilizes the self that wants more freedom by self exploration (the essence of the Dynamic Masculine) until that process no longer is personally fulfilling. For both men and women, without fully “going through the wringer” of the Dynamic Masculine, a client simply will not have the necessity for the rules and stability of the Static Masculine. It’s not until a person has the lived experience of “I can’t do this alone” that she is willing to acquiesce to the wisdom of the Static Masculine.

    Terrifying Heart Truth of the Dynamic Feminine    

There are many reasons that an individual will become ready to move into the Static Masculine. In ancient or traditional cultures there was often a rhythm based on age and experiences achieved that signified time to move into the deeper clan of the Static Masculine – and this happens differently, yet for the same reasons, with both men and women. Sometimes this move is based on fatigue. There are only so many dragons to slay before you’re ready to retire.

However, one of the most substantial and intense motivations to initiate the move from Dynamic Masculine to Static Masculine is encountering the Dynamic Feminine. When you can grasp even a small comprehension of the Dynamic Feminine you will feel goosebumps. The Dynamic Feminine is the ferocious home of the unexpected, the unknown, the powerful, the unseen, the chaotic, the dark, the wild, the endless. While the Static Feminine does embody the full cycle of life – from birth to death, including disease, illness, pain, and suffering; the Static Feminine is also benign in the truest sense. For Mother Nature there is no concern about death because it is what brings life; and her heart rests open and relaxed, almost neutral, through all these cycles – as long as existence continues, which it always does…until.

Until the Dynamic Feminine shows up. For the degree in which the Static Masculine establishes stability, the Dynamic Feminine has the power to tear it all apart a million times over. All that which is unknown and incomprehensible is sourced from the Dynamic Feminine. This energetic pattern has the power to eradicate all sensibilities, all knowledge, all cycles. For many who experience the Dynamic Feminine death would be a welcome release. For the Static Feminine there is the cycle of the seasons, there is a beginning and an ending, this can be counted upon and worked with. In the domain of the Dynamic Feminine there is no end. Her power ends times because it eats up time – for time, even though it exists within nature (the Static Feminine), time is measured by the Static Masculine. And the only energy that can wipe out the Static Masculine is the Dynamic Feminine. In spiritual texts this has been called the dark night of the soul and dark path of the self. This is the realm of the undead.

Side note about Stuckness in The Dynamic Masculine
This is another area of stuckness you may find a client in. He or she just doesn’t want to give up overcoming challenge. S/he wants to keep slaying dragons, going on adventures, claiming the centre of attention, being the all-star. Also known as “the Golden Boy” syndrome (see Robert Bly’s book Iron John), this will be a client who just doesn’t want to grow up. S/he would rather keep playing around and trying to be seen as special (by the Static Feminine), instead of taking his or her seat as an adult. You may notice your clients not wanting to take responsibility, often dismissing accountability as being too rigid (denying the Static Masculine), wanting to play instead of work, not having any deep soulful purpose, believing their “feelings” will guide their way, but not actually satisfied with anything. He or she may be overly positive, and yet it feels like they are fooling themselves, like they are just not stepping in. Depending on how developed your client is (cognitively, emotionally, spiritually, energetically) they may easily pull the wool over your eyes. You may notice however, some sort of incongruence in how they are showing up versus what they are saying. And you may feel for yourself a sense of dissatisfaction in this person’s life. You may find it hard to have compassion or empathy, and experience a desire for them to “grow up”. Most likely you are not the only one. If they are in an intimate relationship their partner may also be saying the same thing. The older an adult is who is stuck within the Golden Boy syndrome, the more challenging it will be to help them undo from the golden myth they find themselves in.

Honestly, I’m only partially writing in a romanticized provocative manner. In a tangible context we see the Dynamic Feminine in storms that violently destroy. Hurricane Katrina or the Japan Tsunami. There is an amazing video footage of the the tsunami. A nuclear power plant is exploding, engulfed by monstrous flames, while being carried away on a flood of ocean’s water. This massive (Static Masculine) infrastructure, which was very well-established, very well planned for, which took years to build – whoosh – washed away, eradicated within minutes. When you are within the Dynamic Feminine – nothing else exists, there does not appear to be any way out. While both the Static and Dynamic Masculine can destroy and kill, there is calculation. Hiroshima was calculated. Nazi Germany was calculated. Vietnam was not.

In this clip from X-Men 3 you see the Terrifying Heart Truth of the Dynamic Feminine. The character Magneto (Professor X’s once best friend, now rogue enemy) has found the lost Jean Grey, aka The Phoenix (because Logan aka Wolverine in his Dynamic Masculine defiance of the Static Masculine Professor X, woke Jean up out of her protective sleep and she beat him up and she escaped), and has brought her to her old parents house. Professor X has shown up to try and talk sense into her and bring her back. Magneto (who is trying to establish a Static Masculine foothold for the mutants, yet is actually stuck in a Dynamic Masculine play of ongoing defiance) does what Logan did, stating to Professor X to let Jean make her own decisions, that she doesn’t want “to be controlled”. The stand off between Jean and Xavier begins, and we can tell right away who will win. He has done his best to establish a solid ground for the mutants – his people – for Jean, Wolverine, even Magneto, yet Professor X’s power has reached its limit. And he knows this.

As they move into the kitchen you see the water jug swirling in a frenzy. Whether the directors knew this or not, the Dynamic Feminine is known for its association with tumultuous water. Professor X calmly enters as the room shakes. There is nothing hidden between him and Jean. Magneto on the other hand, who is in the Dynamic Masculine, pushes; still trying to use force for freedom. As the Professor holds his Static Masculine ground – “I can help you. You must trust me” Jean’s energy start to build. Wolverine and the others are drawn into the chaos with Magneto’s minions. All the while the stand off between the Static Masculine and Dynamic Feminine ensure. Watch as he holds and she transforms into the Phoenix. Her power increases – as the Dynamic Feminine will – until the Static Masculine is essentially eradicated, allowing for a new emergence to arise. Through her violence and pervasiveness (whether as a tsunami, a contagious broad-spectrum pathogen, forest fire, or a psychotic breakdown, etc) the Dynamic Feminine clears away “the old guard”. She shakes down the established Static Masculine, no matter how much “good” it has provided. In the dark night of the self, one’s established sense of self is utterly drowned in the dark unknowing of existence; destroyed, with only what is vital and true – for whatever is next – to arise.

There comes a moment in the scene when both Professor X and, importantly, Magneto realize the Phoenix has risen. While Magneto momentarily pacifies under the awful implications of what he has done, Professor X drops into the inevitable. There is a subtle moment when he acquiesces to what simply is – the knowledge and depth that only the Static Masculine can master from holding ground for so long in order to stabilize safety for the sake of something greater than himself. We also see this in the movie Hero with Jet Li, when we realize that the emperor has been “conquering” all the areas of old China in order to bring greater harmony to more people. He had to level the energy of the Dynamic Masculine in order for something greater to be achieved. It is exactly because she has sacrificed herself to something greater than herself, and then seen it to the end, that somebody who is embodying the totality of the Static Masculine will able to surrender to the inevitable obliteration that the Dynamic Feminine always brings.

Notice how the Professor holds poise and clarity right until the end. His last words to Jean, cutting through the chaos as the Phoenix rises, as straight as his heart-truth has ever been, “Don’t let it control you.” And, with complete abandon, coupled with the wisdom of sacrifice, and a dash of humour (in acknowledgement of the play we all are in – only learnt through deepening into the Static), the Professor bids his last gesture to who…? Logan. Wolverine. A tiny smile, into the release of the unknown. This is a shattering powerful moment for all who witnessed.

Interestingly, Magneto knows where he has to step into next – his particular expression of the Static Masculine, and he moves quickly. The pain is felt by Logan and Storm. For the first time in any of the X-Men movies, Wolverine’s pain tears deep from his heart. This is the cut that the Dynamic Masculine can not heal. He (or she) can not evade this move. There is no more negotiating. No more time for the golden boy. No more time to hide.

As a coach, there is a lot to take note of here.
If your client is stuck within a Dynamic Masculine way of being, unable to take the walk of fire into the Static Masculine, s/he may start to find his/her self witnessing the turmoil and possible demise of a “structure” (Static Masculine) that he has been avoiding. Maybe he has been dodging some responsibility for some time, especially in relation to a group. Often there is a sacrifice of self that needs to be made that he does not want to do. He (or she) believes he will lose “freedoms” that he has worked hard to obtain.

The move may be very obvious to you and those that know your client. It may not be until the Dynamic Feminine destabilizes the fort that he is willing to start making new moves to embody the Static Masculine. In wiping out the Static Masculine (or some aspect of that energy) the Dynamic Feminine essentially creates a void. A vacuum in the stabilization of that particular reality. The deep dark water she works with maintains a seal that can not be broken, and thus, the Dynamic Masculine is eventually drawn into the Static Masculine – like it or not.

Helping your Dynamic Masculine client see the Static Masculine in a new way, not like the “old guard”, is essential here. He may have the opportunity to actually create and establish something more profound that he realized. She needs to see that she has claimed significant bounty, has slayed many a dragon, and is now in the position to actually stabilize (and even rest in) what she has sought for. For some clients this will be a huge relief, for others it will be terrifying. I have found the older a client is, and the less he has claimed Static Masculine ground in his life, the more challenging it will be.

For some clients they never can make this move, it is too much for them. For those clients, furthering their capacities in the Dynamic Masculine such that they feel even more free and able in their lives, until they come to acknowledge they are as free as they can ever already be, are the moves to be working on in your coaching program. This can be a challenging moment for a coach. You can see and taste the edge your client has to overcome. Their friends and family have watched your client almost reach the summit many times over. Yet, for a variety of reasons, the client simply chooses not to. It is in this moment that a profound coach recognizes that it is out of their hands, and there is not need to force a client beyond their capacity.

On the other hand, if your client is stuck within the Static Masculine you may notice how rigid she or he is. There can be a sense of fascism or aloofness, holding on so tight or “free from it all” that you may have a hard time touching them. It may be challenging to locate their hearts. Their emotions may be wrapped safely in justifications. If this stuck energy pattern of the Static Masculine is what you are experiencing from your client, then the intriguing move to make is towards the Dynamic Feminine.

There is often very little else that can be done. More stability only stagnates. More insights and “waking up” tends to only reify the defences of the one who “needs” to stay in charge. There is often an attitude of superiority, sometimes aloof. This is not always so, yet for the client who is really stuck, these signs become more tweaked and apparent. Creating the means for your client’s world to be shaken can be tricky and demanding. He obviously is working with you to move into a new direction, yet the move out of the Static Masculine into the Dynamic Feminine requires skillful coaching. You don’t need to go find your own Phoenix or create water geysers to impress, yet you will have to create practices or events in which the stability of your client is slightly to significantly disturbed.

Depending on the encroachment of your client’s belief system you may have to insert great stretches, even straining, their sense of reality enough so they actually can let go for a moment (or longer). Something needs to shift. As a coach you are in the position to help your client into that zone and safely navigate with them into the watery unknowns. This does require you to have the solid capacity to hold ground, perturb the space, and be willing to get messy, even choke on some water yourself.

As you are starting to see, we are awash within these cosmic energies. Your client will eventually be drawn into those watery depths of the Dynamic Feminine. Your potential as a profound coach is to make that as smooth as possible for your client – not sparing any necessary undoings he may need to experience. Yet, through the conscious engagement of human development, you are able to create the space in which your client can be ready for whatever unknown and never-ending experiences she or he may need to traverse. It will always be their own experience. As a profound coach your job isn’t to make it smooth, it’s to provide the way in. Be patient, gentle, yet firm. Avoid playing a Dynamic Masculine energy when working with this client, it will not support their trajectory, and you will lose their trust. Hold the stability that they will be leaving from. Be the dock in which they are shoving off of.

Lastly. You may have a client who is caught within the Dynamic Feminine. This can be a very challenging place for somebody to be residing within. Depending on how deep they are in, this may feel violently overwhelming, to immensely encompassing. S/he will most likely have the feeling of “being in something that won’t end”. There can be a darkness or heaviness also associated with this energy pattern, yet not always.

Sometimes there is simply a vacuous feeling, like nothing matters, and its hard to imagine anything will matter ever again. While there may be a sense of hopelessness, the sentiments that one experiences while in the Dynamic Feminine is different than that of depression. In clinical depression one has a sense of “something needs to come to an end” in order for me to feel better. In the most extreme cases, suicide seems like the only way out, in order to “end my life”, hence the depression. The process of the Dynamic Feminine is such that death is usually not a desire nor an option, for the “endless” feeling of the Dynamic Feminine makes any sense of forcibly ending anything somewhat non-sensical. When you feel like the living dead, there is no where to go.

These watery depths are the domain of dark night of the soul, and dark path of the self. Even the mystics have trouble relaying and holding fast within this domain. Not everybody, however, will be residing within a “transformational process”.

For some clients this is the zone they find themselves in after a tragic or challenging dis-engagement or dis-identification of the Static Masculine. It is important to assess whether an individual is stuck here due to pathological reasons or developmental reasons. The first requires therapy, the second profound coaching. For clients you believe are within the throes of the Dynamic Feminine a few elements that are important to note are:

  • Be careful of any tendencies (yours, theirs, or their loved ones) to try to rush through this process. Like trying to get out of a hurricane, vital energy is wasted in such efforts.
  • Instead, focus on stabilizing your client’s fundamental life. Ensure they can still go to work, function decently in important relationships, are eating & sleeping okay. Help them keep their lives together.
  • Focus practices on “staying awake” to their own process. Unlike in the other domains, there are no standard insights that can be figured out here. Each client must experience their own fullness in this domain. In the three other energetic domains, partial engagement can often work until new ground is gained. In the Dynamic Feminine there is no ground, thus simply assisting your client to stay afloat is the focus of practice.
  • Assist your client in seeing what is most important to him or her. Though this will barely provide any solace, a client can become more deeply acquainted with what is of “fundamental importance” to him. This is different than what is of “ultimate importance” that is the domain of the Static Masculine. Remember, a purpose of the Dynamic Feminine is to strip away our highest regards to surface was is fundamentally true.
  • Ensure your client does not think too much about “the process”. This domain focuses on the felt lived experience. Most mental conjectures for meaning or assimilation are simply attempts to grasp hold of something meaningful. Creates practices and forms of support that allow them to continue to rest in the fullness of their experience without mental engagement.
  • Surrender and giving up is a crucial base for practices and development here. The more a client attempts to fight or understand versus surrender, usually a longer and more painful struggle ensues. There is no way to calibrate the degree of challenge and ache one will experience in the Dynamic Feminine. Yet, like being in quicksand or a spider’s web, the more the effort the quicker the suffocation.
  • Lastly, stay ready for when your client touches ground. This may be actual earth they can stand on, or a boat or raft they have found in the waves. Both are valid and valuable. Once this occurs, your job as the coach is to once again assist them in establishing stability. Deepen their lived experience as it is right now, clearly providing evidence that they have reached safety.

Be careful that your client does not try to “become something new” (born again), or “philosophize their experience” (write the book) too quickly. This will degrade the lived bodily experience that their heart and body need to metabolize. Eventually, clients will need to rest in the next domain as the Static Feminine. However, this “rest” may not occur quite yet until other aspects are completely let go off, put to rest, died, such that new life can again emerge.

    Fall of The Dynamic Masculine    

While a surge to or from the Dynamic Feminine can create a vacuum for the Dynamic Masculine to be drawn into the Static Masculine, that is not always the cause of development. There comes a moment when the raw, self-directed power of the Dynamic Masculine will simply fail. This can be subtle, like the stripping of a screw, or more dramatic, such as the loss of a business. Eventually the push and thrust of the Dynamic Masculine simply can not compete with the capacity and stability of the Static Masculine.

In this clip we see Wolverine looking for Jean. Magneto has taken her to his rebel camp and Logan has gone to “save her” as the Dynamic Masculine does – slay the dragon for the princess. He makes it past the first layer of “demons”, challenges that always seem to be in the Dynamic Masculine’s way. Then he runs into the one man that can destroy him – Magento. (If you are not aware of the various “powers” of these characters – Magneto has the power to magnetize any type of metal, with that power he can bend guns, move tanks, lift ships, and toss away Wolverine, who, was a US Army experiment, in which then inserted a self-reproducing metal into his DNA structure. Yes, that is why these are comic book heroes!) As mentioned before Magneto was straddling the fence between Dynamic Masculine and Static Masculine. With the death of Xavier, his old best friend, he has been able to step into the role of Static Masculine with complete authority and autonomy.

Your Dynamic Masculine clients may be feeling the end of their power, like they simply can’t go on any more. Nothing they “do” will bring them success. No matter their efforts there is simply a feeling of impotence that they can’t overcome. This is where the move of “being” the Static Masculine takes place. There is no “doing” the Static Masculine, you simply are. Subtle signs can arise, such as: they may have lost their capacity to be funny.

Humour changes when you can’t be macho and hold your power any more. The humour of the Static Masculine is much more substantial and “awake” compared to the often witty, smart, brash, over-the-top humour of the Dynamic Masculine. They may also feel like their attractiveness is disappearing. In these moments both men and women often try to “stay young”. For some reason people simply aren’t giving them the same amount of attention they once were getting.

Intuitively most people can feel the shift of energy when somebody’s “time is up”, usually earlier then the individual does. This doesn’t mean she or he won’t be funny or attractive, simply that the power that the person possessed, which overflowed and manifested through humour and beauty, is now waning to the point of insubstantial. These are the moments when somebody’s efforts are just not going anywhere.

Many movies show these moments in many varieties, sometimes in humorous fashion, sometimes with more substance. A great scene happens in Good Will Hunting, where Will (Matt Damon) is telling his best friend Chuckie (Ben Affleck) that he doesn’t want to go and be the math wizard that he is so talented and destined to be. He’d rather live there in their neighbourhood, work the job site, raise their kids, be like old times. Chuckie, in a touching moment of deep masculine brotherhood devotion, tells Will that he’ll kill him if he sticks around doing the same old shit. He tells Will that its actually not about Will anymore, its about him – his best friend, its for the sake of his friends and other guys on the job site, that WIll needs to get out of his self-identified self desires – the Dynamic Masculine – and anchor down into something more substantial.

Chuckie is actually holding two solid domains here – both the Static Feminine and Static Masculine. The place where life is safe and seems all good – the Static Feminine – actually doesn’t want Will to stick around, its time to leave the nest. This is expressed when Chuckie says the best moment in his day is the ten seconds when he picks Will up in the morning and wishes he wasn’t there – that is some hardcore truth of the Static Feminine. And, Chuckie is also holding the Static Masculine in saying that you owe your gifts not to yourself, but to those you love – you owe it to them to anchor down, quit your bullshit, and step in. Chuckie already knows his fate, and can hold the ground of the Static Masculine in a way that Will can’t yet, because Will has not lived up to his potential, beyond the “showing off” (Dynamic Masculine) of his math genius, as he does in most of the movie.

To assist your client in these times:

  • Provide the means for them to feel the truth of what they have “conquered”. Depending on how far they are in this process, your affirmations may not hold any water (this is an apropos analogy, since that is what it feels like in this phase – you’re drying up (opposite to the wateriness of Dynamic Feminine)).
  • Therefore, its important to track a client’s potential for self-pity, potential for closing off and hiding out, or for giving it one more go. These are all tactics to minimize the feeling of not being able to conquer anymore. There might be shame, embarrassment, disgust, all towards oneself. There might also be disdain for “those that didn’t help me” prepare for this time. As mentioned earlier, in today’s society a lot of young men didn’t have the strong masculine role models to prepare them for the responsibility for the future.
  • This is where a profound coach will allow a client just enough commiseration to allow his heart to feel the “burn of existence” that will then prompt him into Static Masculine responsibility and action. And then, a profound coach will provide the means for the client to step into the Static Masculine with as much poise and humility as is necessary such that he or she can “take their seat”.
  • Practices will focus on stability instead of creativity, intelligence versus intensity, clarity versus ambiguity, wakefulness versus discovery, truth versus possibility.
  • This will be a powerful time for a client. When a client steps into this at a ripe moment in his/her life, it will seem like everybody and the world will breath a sigh of relief. The client will start gaining a deeper degree of respect from people, and more substantial opportunities will suddenly be available.
  • Your job will be to keeping you client consistent and stable, building solid foundations.

A profound coach will also be keeping an eye out to see if a client is having a hard time finding where to place his step. The Static Masculine ground may be very foreign to him or her. It also may look very bleak and unappealing. Help your client discover that he can do it his way – that he can build the castle in the manner he wants, simply honour what is already there.

Build on what the “forefathers” have worked very hard to establish, in a manner that establishes greater Static Masculine solidarity. If there is any move to try and topple the “old guard” show your client that he hasn’t quite submitted to the “walk of fire” into the Static Masculine, and that he’ll just keep running into the same old guardians at the gate – just as Wolverine has done many times.

    Dynamic Masculine Claims the Static Masculine Values    

In order to move from the Dynamic Masculine to the Static Masculine one has to claim the values of the new way of being. In Integral Coaching™ terminology, these are the new Ways of Seeing that a client needs to start having a sense of.

Our values guide our actions. While we can adjust a client’s behaviour through various practices, true self-directed action must be linked to a substantiated and trusted value – otherwise its just goofing around. In this movie clip, this is the first time we see Logan claiming the values of the Static Masculine. His team is small and concerned. Instead of dismissing their fears as he often did in the Dynamic Masculine, he acknowledges their fears. He speaks to the past (the loss of Scott and The Professor), linking their choices and actions to a thread of continuity. The Static Masculine is the keeper of time, and uses historical landmarks to inspire and lead. Logan also creates camaraderie, owning what he values and then establishing a means for the others to join him. Compared to the first clip we saw of Wolverine, his while approach is different. He still embodies the same power and robustness, yet his motivations are directed for the sake of something greater than himself – establishing a team of X-Men that stands together for a higher good, a greater truth.

This is an important scene, especially because of the fore-shadowing in Storm’s words, “Are you ready to do what is necessary when the time comes?” In this scene she is holding the already established ground of the Static Masculine (since she has already been in that capacity), and yet also the force of life from the Static Feminine. “Are you willing to do what is necessary when the time comes?” These are the words that you will be holding for your client that is about ready to step into the Static Masculine. Depending on the scope of your relationship you may not actually be the one who will be speaking there to your client, yet it will be the energy that you will be holding for them.

Your job as a profound coach is to provide two things:

1Practices to establish the humble confidence and dedication to responsibility that your client will really need to be resting within in order to make the move into the Static Masculine. These are the deep breath moments, when we know what we need to do, and just need to do it. Hopefully by now you have helped your client establish a new ground of being through consistent Foundation Practices. There is a space that she can feel under her, even if she has not completely stepped in yet.

2The right style of encouragement is also important here. The “Ho-Ha – GO Get ‘EM!” high-energy style of encouragement is often not the appropriate way to send your client forward. Neither is an uplifting, “You can do it” motherly type sentiment. While it may be challenging, a solemn or even somber style of energy is usually the best style of encouragement to provide a client ready to make the move into the Static Masculine. To enliven the mood in which you are supporting a client here actually diminishes the work and challenge they are about to step into. In fact, as a coach, not holding the right expression of energy for your client here may cause a rift of distrust between the two of you. Be careful not to let your own discomfort with stability or consequence unconsciously percolate.

A profound coach will hold a client to the fire’s edge, knowing that you have given all you can to your client to prepare her, and now it is up to her to walk across. Let others provide the “positive energy”. As a profound coach working with a client to make a move into the Static Masculine, you’re holding an important thread between your client’s worlds. If anything, find your best neutral mood, and trust that equanimity will provide.

    The Step Into the Static Masculine    

The energetic feel of moving between the Dynamic Masculine and Static Masculine is that of heat and fire. In the sacrifice of the individual will in service of the social demands a person experiences a burning up of what was. Burning off the old, so the clarity of the new can shine forth. The heat comes from the frustration that the individual feels when having to swallow and suffer one’s own will rather than act on it.

In the tribes of old, this is the time when young ones would go through initiations, often with a massive amount of energy and intensity. Sometimes there was heat or immense cold, yet always some form of pain. Regardless of the source or style of pain, the individual has to simply succumb to the fiery trials that are set before him. In this submission to the group one chooses to experience the unspeakable for the sake of higher ground that the entire group supports. In modern times we experience similar rites of passage in front of PhD tribunals and military boot camps. Putting in the long hours at the office in order to get the promotion is another form of tempering the individual self in service of a greater reward – security.

In this video clip we see the brewing of heat in its many forms. First, Storm electrocutes one of the enemy mutants – the dry heat of electricity. Then, Magneto and Pyro – using team work – throw fiery cars onto the “good guys”. Like a barrier, one of the nine gates of Hell, the flames wash down on our heroes. It is amongst this heat that Wolverine notices the key needed for their success – the mutant antidote in needle bullets.

His statement, “we work as a team.” He asks the Iceman to work on the fire of Pyro. The young mutant Iceman stepping into his own masculine power as he goes head-to-head with his old friend. Your client may be in a similar situation in her life. A challenge against the old, having to stand up for the greater good in opposition to those she once called friends. This can be a horrendous time for a person. Having to make choices, usually from the heart, in order to establish a higher ethical order, a greater moral expression.

Movies such as The Departed are brilliant at expressing the scope of challenges one can face in such moments. We have all been there. The choice is usually obvious, yet the heat of the process is often overwhelming. Your job as a coach with clients making these moves is to help them hold ground. Depending on where she is in her process, your client may still be looking for a way out. Usually, by this time, once the Static Masculine values have been claimed, its more of a matter of sticking with it. Reduction of distraction is important here, as is support. As Logan says in this clip, “I need some cover”. Focus is important. Creating practices that assist your client in maintaining congruency and surrender is vital for this time. We see that it is through teamwork and vulnerability that Wolverine and the team are able to eliminate Magneto’s powers.

There is a good chance that your power to hold your client to deliverance will be tested here. As we get older the comfort and safety of our current ways of being can really keep our drive and energy engaged in patterns that are difficult to overcome even when we deeply desire to. Depending on the scope of your client’s life he may have been through several “fiery initiations” already, and taking on one more may simply seem too challenging. Age is a variable in this motivation, if only a minor one. The older we get the less we want to deal with the heat. In youth we can see or intuit the other side, and find what it takes to go for it. Yet, with age, the value of going through another trial has to be very worthwhile. Once we have accumulated a certain degree of comfort in our lives it takes a lot of motivation to step up into that next level of expression. One has to let go of the self in the move from Dynamic to Static masculine. Even if one really wants to and sees the value, the energetic momentum can be demanding to build.

Your job as the profound coach is to:

  • Keep showing the value in the person’s upcoming new moves, value that lies beyond himself, and yet is necessary for his own fulfilment, which leads to…
  • Also keep exposing the pain your client is in by not stepping up; this “pain” may be experienced in many ways – immense frustration, feelings of worthlessness, inability to sleep well, poor communication with others – and attempts to assuage or anesthetize this pain or try to fix it, only prolongs the agony
  • At some point there is no more that can be done, they just need to jump.

Two other points of interest here:

  • It is in this stage, the actual step into the Static Masculine that a client may believe that having more practices is the way to go. There is often a belief that more knowledge, more insight, more practice will get them better prepared. you might here, “Once I get in shape, then I’ll…”, “after I read this book I’ll know what I need to do”, or, “I just need a bit more time to feel into all the aspects I’m taking into account here”. These types of statements are usually tell-tale signs that your client is stalling. Most likely you’ll have a feeling of, “ya, right, that won’t help at all”, probably other people in their life believe the same thing. Consistently shining a light on your client’s ways of maneuvering around taking the step in is where you work is here.
  • Also, once your client does step, she/he may suddenly (by choice or happenstance) drop a lot of the “stability” that they once used to hold themselves up. For example, if a client has been holding off on writing a book and then finally steps into doing it, his regular gym routine may start to fall of its routine. Your client may start doing things that are out of the norm, staying up later, eating differently, not going out as much – this is all very normal as somebody claims their Static Masculine move.

    Initially their focus becomes more streamlined and their patterns aligned with the new moves they are claiming. They may feel concerned or bad about this. As a profound coach you can help them by sorting through their confusion and pointing towards the new ways of going that they are making. As well, for you coaches that know the lingo, now is the time to assist your client in new Ways of Checking also, since these were not really available before. Give your client some time to waffle around in this new expression of self – claiming his seat. Then start to slowly layer on any necessary practices or routines that will help him stabilize on this new ground.

    The Power of the Static Feminine    

From the first line of this clip we can tell that Wolverine has passed through the formidable gates of the Static Masculine and now is in the free-flow of existence. What is fascinating to note, is that often, when we do pass through to our next level of energetic expression, if we have done so boldly, with complete surrender yet also with upright integrity, then we are free to move very fluidly between all the energies.

Suddenly, the dam that was holding back the flood of our being has been released and we enter immense and capable flow. We still have our new “native territory” that we have claimed and will reside in, yet the flush of freedom provides us with much agility. Over time this will start to slow, and our flow will meander more widely and consistently. Yet, you’ll note with your clients who do make it into their next level of energetic Gender Pattern, there will be a bit of time where they can embody many facets and capacities – IF, as I mentioned, they’ve crossed bold upright integrity in their surrender. Any tendency to look back or feel false humbleness will lessen this agile time.

“I’m the only one who can stop her”, proclaims Logan, as Jean, now moving to embody the fullest expression of the Phoenix in retaliation for Magneto’s demise. The he says, “get everyone to safety”, owning the power of the Static Masculine fully, and ensuring the people under his claimed leadership are taken care of. Note the billowing ascension of dark water, as the destruction ensues. Remember, Jean as the Phoenix (the only class 5 mutant) embodies the greatest expression of the Dynamic Feminine- utter chaos, unknowing, the ripping apart of existence, space, and time. While “goals” are not really an actual aspect of the Dynamic Feminine, her capacity is to set forth the mysterious forces of phenomena, in a capricious and unpredictable manner, which – in closely watching the trends – assists to establish a higher order of integration. There comes a point when only chaos will free us from the rational mind of self and collective. There is actually nothing we can do to prevent this energetic truth. While we can prepare, Her watery ways will always find a way under in order to upsurge any beliefs we still value.

“I’m the only one who can stop her” is a foreshadowing of the move that Wolverine will have to make. When we watch him climb the steps, we might view him as embodying the Dynamic Masculine, pressing forth against the onslaught of unbearable power to save the beautiful Jean Grey. We might also believe that he is wearing the full power of the Static Masculine, holding “the truth” above all else and conquering the Phoenix for the sake of “right order” amongst the mutants. It is not until we hear his answer to her question do we realize he has actually stepped completely into his free-flow of his power, agile in his heart and capacity.

Wolverine has moved through the Static Masculine – stability and safety for the people – to the Static Feminine – maintaing the flow and order of life and death. His heart is so wide and free that the only truth that permeates him is that of Life. Remember the Static Masculine holds to rules, ideas, obligations, and constructs in order to ensure safe dominion. In most circumstances, those governed by the energies of the Dynamic Masculine, Static Feminine, or even other Static Masculines, that righteousness is what is appropriate and will prevail. That authority is good and right in those situations. However, the only energy that is able to end the dominance of the Dynamic Feminine is the Static Feminine.
“You would die for them?”, she asks. “No, not for them, for you. For you.”
This was the key to Jean being released from the Phoenix. We can see Jean, as person and woman, within the power that overtakes her as the Phoenix. Logan’s heart was only focused on the true heart of Jean. He was able to see through the overwhelming force of the Phoenix to the personal heart of Jean. If he were to be taking “them” – everyone – into account, then he would have still been in the Static Masculine, and the Phoenix would have torn him apart. He was however, fully rested in the dominion of the Static Feminine, and that tenderness was no match, the Phoenix could only surrender. Killing both of them was the only answer.

The power of that killing rests in the Static Feminine’s capacity to hold the impersonal with the personal. For the Static Feminine, the on-going expression of Life is the only intention. In that purpose, both the personal and impersonal have a place, yet one is not greater than the other. Like back in the clip from Good Will Hunting, when Chuckie tells Will that the best part of his day is when he thinks Will might have left without saying good-bye. We can feel the caliber of personal and impersonal in that one statement.

It is a quality of love that only the embodied heart of the Static Feminine can express. The Static Masculine, who can also operate out of complete love, must allays reside further into the impersonal. His domain represents the heavens of the transpersonal, beyond the individuation of the Dynamic Masculine. This is why we see those “stuffy old men up on high” in various offices of authority that always seem completely bereft of emotion, as if somebody ripped their sense of person-ness out of their hearts, only caring for “what is right and true”, instead of the individual.

The Static Feminine holds “the balance” of Life together in very majestic ways. For a client who is entering this domain your job will be to help them discover equanimity in the face of tough choices. Your program for them will also contain practices of simplicity and connection, finding the personal in everyday moments. Here is where the laughter and play of everyday life becomes buoyant. Instead of the rigid rules of the Static Masculine, the Static Feminine finds a way to bend them for the sake of personalized love. This is mom secretly giving you a cookie, even though you didn’t finish dinner. This is the dandelion finding its ways through a crack in the cement. This is helping a stranger change a flat tire without needing to know their name.

For a client who finds themselves re-emerging into the Static Feminine a lot of play and robustness may emerge. As a profound coach part of your job will be to help your client settle into the simplicity and fullness of this re-birthed energy. Watch to ensure they don’t turn what is happening here into the personal. Many people in our materialized society, especially men, tend to want to start pushing into the Dynamic Masculine once they have had a good wash in the Static Feminine. If somebody has been a “warrior-type” most of their life, it may be hard for them to rest in the bosom of the Static Feminine. Others may actually finally find the solace they have been needing; they’ve worked so hard, and established so much, that now they can simply rest in the organic fullness of the Life that holds it all.

Culture actually plays the most significance in this energy. While “mother” does have a universal archetypal truth and feel to its manifestation, culturally how mothers treat, care for, and individuate their children is very vast in the 21st century. How comfortable a client is with mother energy will show up once they enter the Static Feminine. Since the Static Masculine energy over the last few decades has been waning and weak in many first-world cultures, many people are conflictual with how to be with Static Feminine – mother – energy. In many families the mother had to take on many roles, and the children didn’t experience the pure clarity of the Static Feminine much. If you intuit this may be happening for your client, your job will be to assist her in finding the simplest ways to nurture herself, showing him the joy in resting in what he has accomplished without making it to be more or less than what it is. While as the coach you don’t want to actually take on the “mother” role for your client, you can however hold a more sibling style of energy, sharing the joy of simple experience in this domain of Static Feminine embrace.

While there are many other nuances and angles to explore within these energetic Gender Patterns, this has been a thorough start. I’m impressed, you’ve made it to the end. If working with these energies within your coaching practice interests you then I suggest buying Gareth Hill’s book and diving in.

Learning how to properly comprehend, asses, and then employ these energetic patterns takes time, insight, and practice. For personalized instruction in how to start developing this capacity for yourself please contact me, and we can discuss working together. When you are ready to deepen your coaching abilities, expanding your range to provide creative and deep work to your clients, take a look at my Services for Coaches. Connect with me, and we’ll begin.

Best to you in your life and work.

Relational Distinctions


Whether you are an Integral Coaching Canada (ICC) Integral Coach™ or a coach trained from another ICF certified school, knowing how your client shows up in relationships is an important aspect to take into account. Relationship is an essential facet of our personal development. Even if a person is highly individually focused, the manner in which she engages relationship can play a crucial element in her personal growth.

In the context I am speaking of – relationship – refers to all forms of being with other people. This includes family, work, and friend relationships, as well as with your intimate chosen person. And, this also includes being with strangers, associates, and people in any context. Even standing in an elevator with people you do not know is considered to be in the “relational domain”.

Relationship provides us a means to make sense of our own reality. For some people relationship is the primary source of making meaning – he requires some form of relational engagement to determine how to be in the world and in his life. Being part of a group, with shared activities, and congruent ways to engage each other is the way to know thyself and be in life. For others, the same time spent with people has more of an interaction or transaction quality versus deeper engagement. These people do not require relationship in the same manner to be in their lives. However, neither way of being is more accurate, right, or true than the other, this is simply how different people exist in the world. Some folks are right-handed while others are left-handed. They both engage the world, simply from a different point of view.

As a coach, the value in knowing your client’s relational orientation allows you to understand how your client interprets their experiences. Without that crucial bit of information you might create a program and practices that asks your client to engage his topic as if they were left-handed, yet inherently he is right-handed. While there might be a very valid reason to have your client learn how to work with both his right and left hand, this must be sourced within the scope of success for their coaching topic; otherwise, you’re unknowingly trying to put a square peg in a round hole, and that has the flavor of ignorance, and could be considered subtly abusive.

Regardless of your client’s relational orientation (making meaning with people or distinctly as an individual) each person can also develop the skills to be better in relationships. Even the most highly individualized and recluse person can have a very powerful capacity to be in relationship. Alternatively, someone may be in relationship all the time, yet still lack some skills to accomplish certain tasks. She may not be able to listen that well or clearly speak her mind with others around. As a coach we name this to be relational capacity versus relational orientation. How skillful and competent is somebody within the “WE-space” of relationship, versus, how much meaning do they derive from that WE-space.

Rochelle Fairfield, Professional ICC Integral Coach™ with a MA in Integral Theory, takes us a little deeper into understanding the relational context – both orientation and competency.

Have you noticed how even though you might be coaching a single client, the work you do with them touches on various people in their lives: their employees, colleagues or boss, their spouse, maybe their kids, or teachers, students, etc? While you might be coaching them alone on a topic that is solo focused, do you find you’re working with the client’s social world? Sometimes this is quite direct, like when a client has a conflict with someone and they want your help with how they deal with it. Or, it could be that they simply desire closer, deeper or more authentic relationship with someone in their lives. Perhaps, he may want to access more of his own personal creativity, yet is constantly comparing himself with others. Whichever the case, understanding the difference between how a client orients to social interaction as compared to their skill level in it can lead to you seeing richer and more impactful ways to work with your clients.

If you’re using some form of the Integral model or ICC’s Integral Coaching methodology, you’ll be aware of the two perspectives – termed the Lower Left Relationship Quadrant (or LL for short) and the Interpersonal Line of development – that are used in order to work with a client’s social context and abilities, or as James has termed them here – orientation and competency. For those not familiar with the Integral model, the LL and Interpersonal line are essentially two complimentary ways of understanding and working with a client’s social context. For more information Click Here

I’ll be more specific about these two perspectives with an example.
If a client has a relational orientation (ie from the LL Quadrant), she innately orients to the group first and find what’s meaningful for herself through being part of that group. An example to illustrate this in action would be how someone goes about choosing a movie at the video store. Someone who orients with a relational focus (from the LL) will tend to orient to the group to make a decision, so they might look for which video has the most copies rented out, since that’s the movie that the group (in this case, movie renters) are watching. Note, that it’s the method the person automatically goes to that is key here: they naturally orient themselves to the group, so they naturally look to attune to the group first when faced with a decision. Another person however, somebody who orients from an individualized perspective (UL in Integral language), this person finds what’s meaningful to himself based on plumbing his own inner world, his own purpose, not the zeitgeist of a group. So, he might chose a movie by who the director is because he is currently intrigued by that director’s body of work – it is meaningful to him, and his purpose is to take in more of that director’s work. Both people could end up picking the same movie, even, though each arrived at the decision from very different ways of orienting to it.

That’s great Rochelle, a very clear example of how somebody makes decisions based on their orientation. For a profound coach this is important client information to be clear on. To take this a step further, if your client is highly developed in his relational orientation then he is going to be able to not only decide what movie to rent based on the most popular rented movie, yet also who he is watching the movie with, what mood does he want the group to experience, will the time length of the movie work for everybody who is watching, as well he might even be considering when he can return the movie so other’s can watch. With this degree of relational sophistication your client is making a vast amount of meaning through the WE-space.

A mature person with such an extensive capacity in relational orientation can take that all into account and still stand on his own ground in making choices. An individual who may not be as developed within their relational orientation may feel obliged to go with the group’s wants. In the attempt to take “them” into account, he may lose himself and not know what he wants. Known as merging, this type of client would benefit from some development in knowing himself and being able to set boundaries within the relational space.

Thus, the two aspects we have detailed out here so far are:
1. Relational Orientation – client makes meaning of his or her life through relationships (versus individually)
2. Relational Capacity –the degree in which your client takes into account and is affected by relationships

Knowing the degree in which your client is affected and engaged in life through relationship provides a significant means to assist your client in making choices and gaining new moves. There is also one other relational variable that can be measured which is relational competency or skill. As I mentioned earlier, a person may be highly individually focused and make meaning from his own sense individuality (versus through relationships), he might even not like to spend time with people, yet he may be very skilled within the interpersonal space. As Rochelle stated, within an Integral context this is called the Interpersonal Line of development.

More from Rochelle:
While the LL – Relational Orientation is considered someone’s ‘go-to’ way of being, the Interpersonal Line describes a person’s social or relationship skill level. Whereas orientation is pretty much hard-wired, likely from birth, the Interpersonal line can be nurtured or learned. Since you grew up in a social context of family, religious group, friends etc, you’ll have learned various social – also called interpersonal – skills by simply being in relationship, observing and copying the people around you. So even though these are learned skills, some clients seem to ‘come by them naturally’, perhaps because they grew up surrounded by role-models who were interpersonally skilled. Others may have made a deliberate effort to learn these competencies at some point later in life.

Examples of interpersonal skills include things like making a point to remember and use people’s names when talking with them, making eye contact, asking after the person’s family, asking about their work projects, how their health is, as well as knowing when it’s good enough to just talk about the weather with someone. It’s also having a sense of how much personal information to give and ask for in a given relationship, having the capacity to notice others, to tend to the space, and the types of relationship between others, as well as between self and others. These are all skills that can be learnt regardless if you make meaning of the world through relationship.

And, that’s the third relational variable that a profound coach needs to take into account:
1. Relational Orientation – client makes meaning of his or her life through relationships (versus individually)
2. Relational Capacity –the degree in which your client takes into account and is affected by relationships
3. Relational Skill (Competence) – communication skills, how many relational perspectives can be taken into account and worked with, the style of relationship (focused on getting, negotiating, receiving, or inspiring), catching nuances and energetic parlays in the social realms, being able to navigate social and cultural differences, etc.

Everyone is affected and involved in these three aspects of relationship. However, each of us has a different degree in which those three aspects are part of our current way of being. A profound coach will assess these three relational aspects for her client and make program recommendations that include these. Practices may include:
- developing a wider capacity to understand how to see one’s life and the world through a relational orientation
- developing a wider capacity to understand how to see one’s life and the world through a relational orientation
- developing a greater range of interpersonal skills that can be used to further one’s projects, goals, or purpose

Of course, the specifics of what you will include in your clients’ programs and practices will always be determined in alignment through their coaching topic – the reason they are working with you in the first place. Which leads to a subtle, yet important point…

As a profound coach you too have your own relational orientation, capacity, and skills. As always when working with a client, it is vital to ensure our personal tendencies or biases are not woven into our clients’ programs. Too easily we can lead with our own ideas of what is best for a client based on the scope of our own self – and this must consistently be at the forefront on any profound coach. Be aware of your preferences, leverage them to serve your client, yet ensure what she needs arises from a fuller palette of possibility, not just the colors you yourself like to paint with.

Thus, in your move to become a profound coach relational context is substantially important. Without taking relationship into account there is a high chance that you will be prescribing technique and providing service instead of connecting to the client’s actual life reality and engaging in the fuller craft of true coaching. This leads us to a final great insight from Rochelle about the relational context – culture.

It helps to remember that your client is also culturally situated – he or she was born and raised in a particular culture or possibly several cultures. So some of what you are working with in a client’s ‘personality’ is not just their individual personality, but also their cultural influence that can show up in different ways. As a coach, knowing there’s a cultural context, you can use this to guide your questions and also the courses of action you take with a client.

For example, say you’re working with a client who comes from a more collective, relationally-based culture, like many Spanish speaking regions typically are. If one of your client’s goals is to be more able to stand on their own feet, having more autonomy in their life – [the means in which they would achieve this] would look quite different compared to a client who is from an individualist culture. With someone from a communal culture you might respect their tendency to do things in groups, and look for ways for them to act more autonomously while still staying in relationship with their group. This might look like giving him a practice where he takes the lead about what his group does in a given situation, such as planning the family holiday, or suggesting a different park to go for the regular Sunday family picnic. By contrast, many English speaking cultures tend to be more individualistic. Working with such a client with the same goals, you might encourage autonomy by giving him an exercise to accomplish something on his own, like taking an adventure holiday or going to a movie by himself.

Thanks Rochelle, this is definitely another important relational aspect to take into account – the cultural context. Depending on where you client is from and where she is living, cultural context may be a primary window your client sees her life through, or perhaps simply a subtle overlay that permeates her life. For example, many Americans and Canadians have a mixed ethnic background. The Jewish New Yorker or Chinese Vancouverite may only be two or three generations in North America. Their cultural background is an aspect of their essential being that even they most likely take for granted, yet subtly affects their beliefs, actions, choices, and relationships. A profound coach will stay alert to this context and enquire into this relational element if it appears potentially relevant to the client’s coaching topic.

Relational Orientation, Capacity, Competency, and Culture – these are aspects of each of our lives, including your clients. Profound Coaching requires you to take these into account and bring the scope of their relevance into your client’s programs and practices.

Thanks to Rochelle Fairfield for taking the time to write this great blog post and bring to light the many relational distinctions that we will experience in our coaching. Rochelle knows a thing or two about profound coaching. If you wish to connect with her, please see her Linked-IN profile HERE. Rochelle will be the primary Leadership Coach for the Women’s Leadership Institute programs in 2012.

Integral – Developing See, Go, Check


While most of the terms in the following article relate specifically to the Integral Coaching© methodology as taught by Integral Coaching Canada, some of the implications can be adapted and translated for other styles of coaching.

In naming a clients Way Of Being (WOB), both their Current Way Of Being (CWOB) and New Way Of Being (NWOB), we further define, refine, and fill out the actual way of being through the use of Seeing, Going, and Checking (See, Go, Check, or SGC). Each WOB has a very unique Way of Seeing, Way of Going, and Way of Checking. (I’m not going to elucidate what those terms mean – for further comprehension consider registering for ICC’s Apprenticeship program.) It is through the correct use of the SGC that we assist the client in understanding that particular WOBing. This is also the means in which we can measure progress from the client’s CWOB to their NWOB.

Remember, that this is why it is crucial to have a decent initial grasp of a WOB’s SGC. The See, Go, Check is the embodied expression of how that client is showing up in their WOBing. This is a very important point to keep reminding yourself of. The SGC is how we and clients come to know and feel the truth of their lived experience in that particular WOBing. Without that we have no substantial ground for measuring any actual growth, let alone setting the stage for the possibility of any true development. This is the magnificence of ICC’s Integral Coaching© methodology.

Also necessary to remember is that the SGC of both he CWOB and NWOB is based on and within the rigor of the AQAL Constellation™. As an Integral Coach you have spent a significant time and invested a substantial amount of focus comprehending your client through a very wide array of assessment lens. You have placed yourself within their skin to feel and Look AS your client, to discover how they orient in their existence (this itself is a remarkable distinction that on its own can provide tremendous benefit for the client). However, you have also coupled this with Looking AT the client through a handful of very well researched and cross-culturally practiced methodological assessments. The sheer scope of totality that the AQAL Constellation™ provides (even in its also partial fullness) can not be underestimated. You have taken all of this powerful application, woven it together, and infused it with your unique creative aptitude to thus indicate the client’s CWOB.

The See, Go, Check then is the vehicle in which both you and the client work within the living pattern of that Way Of Being. Initially, in your Offer, you will paint the picture of the CWOB by skillfully presenting a few SGC. The client suddenly gets a feel for what you are indicating in the expressed WOB – since it is his actual experience also! These ways of Seeing, Going, and Checking are your clients CWOB experience. Once you have opened the door he can also start adding more aspects of this particular way of being. Your client of course won’t use the terms See, Go, Check (and there is no need for him to understand those terms), yet you will start filling in your notes and deepen your comprehension of the CWOB by why your client is offering. As you know, the flow of this experience between you and your client can be very exhilarating.

Now, during the unfolding of a client’s program you will continue to discover more about the client’s CWOB. As you use the questions to shine a light on and unearth more aspects of the client’s lived experience when she is in the midst of a practice choice, she will have more experiences of how this particular CWOB Sees, Goes, and Checks. In your sessions you will continue to learn more about the WOBing just as your client did in her practice. Your job is to continue to discern the clarity of beliefs and values in the Way of Seeing, the choices based on those beliefs in Way Of Going, and then the ongoing means for the client to make sense of her choices in her Way Of Seeing.

There will become more SGC nuances that show up as the program evolves. You want to add these to your notes of your client’s CWOB SGC. Yet also, depending on the length and depth of a client’s program, you may also experience an evolution of SGC actuality within a WOB. Since each Way Of Being is an actual way, a flow of being that continues to take the client somewhere, you may become privy to witnessing that flow along its trajectory. Here’s a visual: Pick any point along a river. Stand there for a while and describe what you see. How does the water move? Where does it curl, where does it stagnate? How does it shift over time? Capture enough of this and you will be describing the SGC of the Way Of Being of that particular flow of the river. Yet the river keeps flowing. Walk along the path downstream and you will learn more about how the flow shifts and shapes. In fact, walk along the river’s bank log enough and how you how you described the what was happening upstream may not be the same as what you see downstream. Meaning, while it is the same flow you are witnessing, the way that flow actualizes itself may significantly change. Translation – the SGC of a WOB can shift and grow over time.

As you step into a program with your client, you step into their flow, and will experience the shifts of the SGC actuality. Their CWOB Way Of Going at the beginning of the program may look different than their CWOB Way Of Going in the middle of a program. How they checked out their belies during your Intake, may have additional nuances and layers near the end of a program. All these shifts exist, and are built upon each other. Your job is to continue to track these and note how within a WOB they are showing up and affecting a client within the scope of his or her topic.

These additions to a Way Of Being’s See, Go, Check, which can arise as you traverse down their river with them, are not the same as the SGC for their NWOB. Their NWOB has completely different SGC (as defined by your AQAL Constellation™ assessment). In the use of our river example this is the same as starting to follow a whole other river. As you assist your client in building more of her NWOB capacities, you start showing her there is another river that she can choose to flow down. Side by side these rivers flow, and more and more you are showing her that stepping into this NWOB flow will serve her better in her topic. As you know, this can be a challenging time for a client – one foot in each river – experiencing two different flows, while discerning which one is better for her. This is a huge reason why as the coach you must both be rigorous in how you are measuring and tracking SGC, and also very flexible in how you are interpreting and sharing SGC with your client. As much as you master Looking AS a client, you still are not the one stepping into and out of those rivers. However, until your client is feeling more able to have both feet firmly in the new river, the NWOB, you are the river guide, you are the one showing the flow, the depth, the power, and the freedom of that new flow.

As you practice more you will discover the nuances of how SGC build upon each other, within each of the CWOB and NWOB, as well as within the totality of the person – both rivers are still their flow after all. Thus, while it is crucial to hold very clear distinctions between what and how each WOB flows, our lived experiences must build upon each. There is no need to deny any aspect of the flow of our selves. Whether up stream or down stream, in one flow or another – our lives are a seamless transition of growing and awaking. You are The Way. And your job as a coach is to assist your client in realizing this truth for themselves too.

The Self that Hurts


Zen master Genpo Roshi recently posted a blog post that speaks directly to what we do in coaching.

The thing we are most attached to, of course, is what I call my self, which includes my ideas, notions and beliefs about who I am. So this “I” and whatever I call Me, My or Mine are the most difficult things to let go of or drop. As long as an idea or belief seems to be working for us and gives us some kind of benefit or reward, it is exceedingly difficult to let it go. We would actually rather be unhappy, miserable, even dead than face that an idea belief or notion we are attached to is wrong.
This may seem extreme, but take a look and see if it is not true for you. The world revolves around our identification with and attachment to deeply held beliefs which it would seem almost sacrilegious, heretical, antidemocratic or socially unacceptable to question. This is what makes true liberation so damned near impossible for us mortals, and yet any path that truly leads to a genuine liberation will force us followers of the Way to drop these deeply held beliefs, ideas, expectations and hopes. We will only drop them when holding onto them becomes more of a burden and painful than releasing them. This is what makes the path so difficult. – Genpo Roshi ,

As coaches, one of jobs is to provide the reasons that a client will start making new choices towards a new way of being. As Genpo points out – it is incredibly hard, almost impossible, to give up/let go of/move away from/make a new choice from the “self” that we currently believe is serving us. This current way of being HAS served us well, and we need to acknowledge and honour that aspect of ourselves.

But that is not all of us. We are much more than that limited conglomeration of beliefs and actions that has brought us to this point in our lives. Your clients come to when they are starting to feel that there is more that what they are currently experiencing in their lives. Yet, we need to remember what Roshi is saying – that we’d often rather be unhappy, miserable, even dead before making a new choice towards a new way of being.

Creating the means to show our clients that there are other choices that actually do not limit their already held beliefs, and the bounty that their “self” has created, yet actually free them to wider and deeper expressions, is what we do as coaches.

When people are really ready, meaning they are feeling the constriction of their current way of being really tightly in their lives, then sometimes this can be a simple move to a new choice. Yet, when the power of the old self – the current way of being – is strong and pervasively convincing, our work can include really showing the client the deep pain they are actually experiencing because they are not making those new moves. In both cases, as coach, compassion must guide be part of how we move. For, give it a bit of time, and it will be us stuck in the vice of the self. ;)

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