Welcome to the Freedom Fridays Project Podcast. I'm Pete Clark, your host, the Whispers Guy. It appears that work expands to the time that we give it and I started to explore how I was investing my time and effort, particularly on Fridays. It's evolved to an exploration and experiment with time, energy, attention and identity, and a mindset shift from I have to, to I choose to. So if you're interested in exploring some changes to the way that you invest your time and energy, if you'd like some tips on the way as you make some changes, perhaps to your identity, if you would like the freedom of I choose to, away from I have to, then this is the podcast for you. So welcome to the Freedom Fridays Project Podcast.
Welcome to this week's episode of the Freedom Fridays Podcast. As we come to the end of the calendar year, here in Australia, I've got a guest who I was hoping to have on this podcast for a while, but maybe never had the, I don't think it's courage, but maybe never had the reason to ask. Because as we just had a chat before, I'm going to have a great conversation here and if you happen to be listening, that's great. And so this chap is based in the US and I've known Dave for two or three years now we were started to work together. So I've actually done facilitation and leadership work with this individual and I'm a little bit in awe, and he probably would deny that, but that's not his awe to feel. And so I'm delighted to welcome to the show today, Dave Sollers. Hi, Dave.
Hi, Pete. And you certainly, thank you for what you're saying. And I have a mutual admiration as well, because in the beginning, we were thrown together so quickly, without knowing each other, we actually had to learn about each other in front of an audience. Now that's a very special way to get to know somebody. So as the audience was discovering you, I was discovering you. That sort of Fast and Furious way, so yes.
Let's see where the conversation takes us to find out if any of that's worth sharing. So, Dave, thank you for being here. We start the podcast with the same question. It's all about the changes that we're making, ordinary people, I would count us as ordinary, relatively, doing extraordinary things, and are there any insights that we can share with people that might help them with that, so rather than I choose to you may go, I'm going to not work in a Friday, or I am going to work on Friday. So that's how we normally start, Dave. So I'll pass it over to you with the big question. What's the change that you're going through or have gone through that you think it'd be worthy of sharing?
Yes, thank you. I'm just sitting with what's actually going on, what's my truth, right here right now and I would say, it's extraordinary for me. I am, I'm an ordinary person, but I am doing something extraordinary in me, in that I am choosing consciously to be on a mission and to really be about something important, and to really go towards something instead of my lifelong pattern of making changes because I want to get away from something and ending something and stopping something and I will tell you that this big change is happening right now it is actually happening right now. And I am so happy about it and inspired about it and grateful for it that I'm moving towards something incredibly meaningful. And that's a long time in coming I gotta say.
Wow, well Dave, I've got a little bit, I've got some goose bumps going on thinking, just the extraordinary in you as opposed to the extraordinary outside. And so I am looking, this might go for three hours, mate.
Well, I can do that, everybody knows that.
So again, be being sensitive to whatever it is in the situation, could you maybe share what is the extraordinary thing that's going on within you?
Yes, I'm happy to, so I'll tell you what was happening before. And if people know me or watch me or my careers that I've had, they would probably think this guy is really on mission all the time, this guy is really about something all the time. And that's not untrue, right? It's not untrue. But the source of those things will always be me leaving or stopping or shifting or getting away from something or someone that had just caused, for me something unspeakable, a great deal of pain, disappointment, some sort of treachery or something, people that didn't follow, it'd be something incredibly unfair. So I'd be like every Western revenge movie, right? This is unfair, this is not right. And it would give me permission to walk off steaming when I was younger, walk off throwing things and saying stuff because somebody had done something horrible to me. And then I would start something new and because I am me, I would be all about it. So if you know me, you know that when I get into something, I'm just all about it. And I have a natural thirst and desire to learn and understand and be good nd so I apply myself quite well. But the driver would always be getting away from something. So I never realised until recently, when I was in a place where I was dissatisfied with where I was, and was really displeased with not what I was doing, because I actually enjoy what I do, but I felt like something was missing. And I normally would be about planning, about architecture about lists, I'm a great list person. And about sort of doing something, manipulating something, creating something, so I'm good at that, I would do that. And I thought, you know, maybe, just maybe, at 62, perhaps, I could do things differently. Maybe, perhaps, I could change how I do things in order to get something different, maybe. So I just ran an experiment, because my life is fine, it doesn't suck. There's some really good things that I do for some wonderful people. So it's not as if I'm going away from something horrible. But I have had reactions to like everybody else, horrible people, horrible situations, and I'm calling them horrible, because they were horrible for me, and difficulty that it was really hard for me to hold some pain, disappointment, betrayal, things like that. And I thought, You know, I could storm off, I've got a lot of practice doing that, but what if I didn't, what if I actually held the tension? I looked for my responsibility in this, which I did, I looked for my abdication of my power and where I gave somebody power, authority and choice over me and what they did wasn't to my liking. Well, there you go. I mean, when you give somebody all that power, authority and choice over you, how are they going to know what to do with you? And I started seeing my pattern emerge where I was abdicating some pretty key parts of my life, especially what I want, and so when I didn't get what I want, I'd blame somebody else. When I never said what I wanted. I never took a stand on what I wanted. I was just reacting about what I didn't want. And I thought, Well, you know, it seems like I have a role in this somewhere, it's my life after all. And so instead of complaining about somebody else, or a situation, why don't I actually dig in and think about what I want. And that's where it really got interesting because I was stuck. So for the first time in my life, I had no idea what to do, because I couldn't think my way through it. I did not know what to do. And I always do something but that involves the first thing is running away or saying something or right, cut the string, that's the first thing and I didn't do it. So then I said okay, let me just figure out what to do. Well, I was stumped. Absolutely stumped. And I didn't know what to do, and I didn't have a thought I didn't have an idea. Nothing was working, I was really perplexed.
Can I just pick up on that? Because I think some of the most profound questions are the simplest. Why are we here? Who are you? What do you want? And obviously there's the glib response, What do you want? Well, I want an ice cream, right? I want a paycheck. And so whilst it's a simple question, the answer might take longer. So can you explain what was difficult about that, the answer to that question, when for 62 years, you've answered it very simply, I want ABC, what was different about that question? Because you're a bit perplexed and stuck.
So my answer would typically be, Well, I don't want ABC. So that would be my typical answer. So something would happen, it'd be fine, fine, again, this is me saying I give power, authority and choice to somebody else. Even though people who would meet me wouldn't think that that was true, because of places that I have purview I can be strong, I can be directive, I can do all those things. But in the things that really matter to me, I would tend to think it's somebody else's job to serve me, figure this out, help me. So I knew what I didn't want, but I didn't know what I wanted and I really felt kind of lost. I mean, it just really felt lost, and I made lists, and I talked to myself and I did hypothesis sentence - If this were true, then what would this if it looked like this then - and I just couldn't get it. I tried every little trick that I had, and I wasn't successful. So I was reading a book by a Buddhist writer and they said, when you don't really know what to think maybe you ought to understand what to feel. And so the question was, What would it feel like, if you got what you wanted? Didn't even ask what you want. Just what would it feel like to you if you started to get what you wanted? And so I started to think about the feelings that I would like to experience in my life, the way that I would like to feel, the way that I'd like to go to bed, the way I'd like to wake up, how I'd like to feel throughout my day, what would satisfaction feel like? And then I started really getting what that would be like, once I understood what that will be like, I found the place and could meditate on the place of peace, I could meditate in a place of on mission, I could meditate on the place of service. Or I could actually just in the middle of having a conversation with somebody, give myself a little anchoring technique, like touch my thumb and index finger together and remember what it's like to be at peace with being in service. And I was like, that feels fantastic! So I just kept doing it until I got the feeling right, I would adjust it a little bit - feel like this, in service of what, in service of others, where did I go, what's it feel like to me to be in service of me? Then I got into this whole thing of deservingness and I won't bore you with that. But that was a cycle that was really important because it became forgiveness of others and forgiveness of myself. And that was what tended out to be important because 'Do I deserve to feel this?' came up like 'You don't deserve to feel this way'. And I'm like, Are you kidding me, are you kidding me? And unfortunately, I was not kidding myself. There were deep feelings of, You do not deserve these wonderful, glorious feelings, and I'm like, Wow. So then I said, Well, what do I need to feel like, what's in the way of me deserving? It turned out it was forgiveness. And I started thinking about the moments in my life that I haven't really thought about for a long time that I probably held some sort of thought about. And interestingly enough, and this is just my belief, it's not yours, but as you start to sort this stuff out, synchronicity happens in your life, outcomes happen in your life, things start to shape and give you confirmation outside of your life. For instance, my mother, who's 82, so she's 20 years older than I am, easy for me to remember age sounds like I remember, but I don't, just add 20. So she's 82 and she tells me that when I left for university, when I was 18, that my brother missed me and he really moped around the house for weeks and months. I thought that guy hated my guts, I thought, I mean, he literally tried to kill me three times. And I thought, that's probably but she said, he really missed you, he loves you and he really had a hard time letting go of you. So here I am, all these years later, just a couple years. And I start to realise all the stories I made up about my brother, who I've not had much contact with, because I always thought he hated me and it turns out that somehow we couldn't get together and let each other know that he cared about me and that when I left for university, and I just left for good, that that was a moment that was different than I thought. And I thought to myself, Oh, think about the stories that I've created. Think about the emotions that I've felt, think about the choices that I've made based on this old story that turns out, it wasn't even true. So then I asked what else might be there, and I just started going through this file of certainly unintended or non conscious moments in my life that I just needed to think about, forgive them, forgive me, and say it was just a story, my story and your story. And this is how, when you mix these two stories, this is what happens. So forgive you, forgive me, instead of I was using another F word before. And when I got to the end of that, I was able to hold the feeling of peace, servitude mission, and a beautiful warm sense of happiness that really would sit in my chest, then I was able to hold it. And when I was able to hold it, I knew that I could own it, and that it could be me. And then once I knew that it could be me, I just really enjoyed it throughout the day, throughout the evening, I fell asleep every night with that feeling. That's the last thing I did and the first thing I did in the morning. Then probably about 10 days later, I got asked to go into a meeting, an unexpected meeting. And I went in and a person offered me a situation that is actually about mission and service to others in an area that I care about with people that I enjoy. It's everything that I could hope for at this time in my life, and I didn't make it happen, I didn't manufacture it, I didn't manipulate it, I didn't I'm not the architect of it. But for me, it's a nice confirmation that when I found my version of happiness and peace and service that would actually be created in my actual life. So that's the change.
So I'm Dave, I've just had Netflix on the phone commissioning a 12 part miniseries, just on this conversation. I've already got a dozen things I want to ask you about. So one thing I would say, I would be fascinated if anyone is listening, that if they would reach out and give us some feedback on this, as we've navigated this two dimensional world for the last 18 months, whether you're in a corporate or an NFP or a charity, whatever it is, and the work we do in facilitating conversations, the question we often get is, Yes but how do you do it? You don't quite get the same feeling. Now, as you were describing what you were just describing, I was getting the feeling, I was getting goosebumps, not because of the words you were using, I can't even articulate what was causing it. But there was a depth and a sincerity and I don't mean the glib version of authenticity, the true deep meaning of authenticity, and it came through the screen and I felt it. And you didn't ask me to feel it, but I felt it. And so I would love to know if people just listening, felt it because I don't know how much of it, because I can see and hear you, that's maybe a question for later. But something I want to ask you about is, again, that simple question, what would it feel like if I got what I wanted? And it's such a, again, a simple question and it's taking you on a profound journey. How did you go beyond, Well, I want to feel happy, tick, I want to feel deserved, tick. How did you stop yourself from answering it literally and simply and, Well I can articulate the feeling? What caused you to go beyond to actually feel the feeling in Dave's way as opposed to any other way?
That's a good question. I hadn't really thought about it. The first thing that comes to mind is that by then if I'm not going to run away from things it sure as hell better be good. That's the first thing that I was thinking about. Because all this seems like it's a lot of work and I could just run away and start over again and be fine and have a great story about why I needed to run away, why this horrible situation was bad, why this person did this, why they did that, which has been my typical story, and everybody that I know I would go well, Yeah, of course, right? Because I'm good, I'm a good storyteller, I could tell that story. But I knew again what I didn't want and I realised that when I said, I just want to be happy, it wasn't good enough, because it didn't work. Nothing happened. I didn't get release, I didn't get happy. I didn't feel good about it. I knew that I was a lying bastard. So I just couldn't do it. Yes, to myself, the only reason that I did something else is because it didn't work. If it'd worked right away well, that'd have been fine but it didn't. I didn't feel any different, nothing changed, nothing happened as evidence in my world, my view of the world didn't change, my energy didn't change. So I got none of the metrics that I use to sort of guide my life as, Am I on point with this, is this evidence of what I'm doing, or the experiment that I'm running, landing in some fashion, some real fashion? And I didn't get any of that. So that's the good part but that's also the frustrating part because that means I had to explore in an area that I didn't know, and start to actually put application to things I believed in, but never had the courage actually to do it. [1h20m]
Interesting. And Dave, you said, is it a lot of work? What sort of work is the work?
Yeah, great question. anybody's done. This? I mean, for me, anyway, this level of work and soul searching is being able to hold the tension instead of deflecting it is probably the hardest part. For me. I'm a, you know, I would deflect it with humour, I would deny it, this is not really happening. Or I would disregard it. Well, that's not important. That that that's not a big deal. Think about something else. But these things that were coming up, especially some of these instances, like, you know, my brother actually missed me. Oh, my God, I don't know if anybody's ever been disenfranchised with a sibling or a parent or something. But to learn that the story that you had was not true. And your actions for the last 40 5050 Yeah, 40. Some years have been based on a story. That's not true. That's a, it was too much of a shock for me. It was too real. It was too powerful. It moved me. And then I asked myself, I wonder what else is not true? I wonder what else could be happening that i I wonder what other stories are different than I thought they were? You know, and then I started looking at this blame game. And I wonder what their impact on me really was. And I wonder what my impact was on them. And through that whole piece of holding that kind of question, and the emotions that came from it. So there were tremendous amounts of emotions. I was surprised how far it goes back and how deep the emotions were and how real they were for things that people that are dead situations that are gone. I mean, this stuff happened, you know, in the 70s. Yeah, wow, 60s and 70s. In America, people were gone, or dad or who knows what, but doesn't matter. For me, I still had a level of importance, still a level of intensity that surprised me. And then I also had a level of story that surprised me. I had a detailed version of my truth. And only when I said things like, I wonder what the opposite of that story would be. I wonder if there's another story underneath that story. I wonder if there's a question that I could have asked that might have changed an outcome that I experienced? And in all those instances, the My answer was, No, I didn't do any of that. But in all those instances, something emerged, something happened. Another story. Who knows, right? Who knows? I didn't have my mother to tell me this was true. And that was true and just story. But what I did start to realise is that when I left in anger, and I left in shame, and I left in blame. You know, I didn't go home to see my grandfather passed away. I didn't go home for weddings. I didn't go home for funerals. I didn't go on for celebrations. I cut all that off and cut all that away. Because I didn't want to face it. I didn't want to experience it. And I didn't want somebody to hurt me again. And so yes, mission accomplished on the last one. But what I also missed was a gigantic part of my life. missed that. I missed that. So and I always thought the impact was on Me, right? That's how I was. That's how my story was, well, those people did this to me. And he hurt me this way. And she did this. And for the first time, and only the first time, my life, I said, I wonder what it was like for them to have me completely leave. I wonder what it was like for my grandpa to never speak with me again. We got along really well, I really liked him, we had the same size shoe. So
I know that that's the funny fact. But for me, what happens is, my grandfather is a depression era guy. He he was in America depression when it was bad. So for him, one of the things that he would do, as an older man who was a successful businessman, is he would bear a bear, he'd wear a really nice pair of boots, he'd go buy them, Wolverine boots were the ones he had. And they were the brown, three loop, sort of high top, he'd buy them, and then you'd wear him for three weeks. And then he'd go buy another pair. This was his, I think, his thing of saying I am wealthy enough to buy a new pair of boots every three weeks if I want to, or whatever the frequency was, we'd give him to me. So that thing is, is that I got up gently used pair of boots, you know about every month. So I had his boots that I wore all the way through university through graduate school, because I had the you know, like 12 pair of gently used boots, same size, I wear his shoes up and until and after I got married. So that I was remembering him all the time. And yet, something kept me from going back to see his last days. And that stuff got in my way my my would not forgive them. And I would not forgive me. And that caused that was work to hold that level of pain to hold that level of tension to hold that level of story that caused so much damage in my life, so much pain in my life, some so much unintended impact probably on both sides, I can only tell you about my side. I never meant to do that I'm whatever happened because I don't know what happened. But I never meant to hurt him. I just wanted to get away from the pain of that place.
It's gonna come across and sound like a how question which I know, our ego sometimes need to have the answer to give us comfort that the discomfort is okay. I'm interested, if you'd be willing and able to share in the work that you've done. You talked about forgiving yourself. What was that? Like? How did that play out? When did that happen?
It just is not the conversation I thought we're gonna have by the way, this is my this is my exact move using humour to deflect Right, exactly what it sounds like anybody listening to this? This is exactly what I do.
So, you and me both, you and me both.
Wow. It's, you know, for me, as far as the how question, I would actually just first get into the moment, or whatever that moment was. And it could be typically something that somebody was doing to me. So this is my victim state speaking, right? So the moment they would do something to me, and I would allow myself to go into my body and feel where I still stored that in my chest, in my stomach in my throat. And then I'd go through three things. And this is a practice of mine. Location, sensation, feeling state. So where's it located? What's the sensation, there are many, many kinds of sensations could be walnut, could be stiff, could be tightening could be, you know, vibrating could be warm, could be all those things. And always look and see if there's a shape or a picture or something. Sometimes there is sometimes they're not. And then what's the feeling of that place? So that was my habit. And then I would build that into a practice so that I could really understand what where, where am I storing these things and then what else is stored there? Like I found a little place underneath my sternum right at the bottom. And it seems like that's like a chipmunk pocket. There's so much stored there. I was amazed. Oh no, come on. That's not there to yes it is. Oh my goodness. And then I'd find something else. Where's that? In that pocket? Again, how big is that pocket? This is like, you know, a Harry Potter room or something. But I realised that there's like indigestion or anything. It's like this little chipmunk pocket of horrible memories that still have stuffed in there. So as I would understand what they were, I would hold it. And then I would actually ask myself, Where do I do that? So they've done something really horrible to me.
That's a tough question, isn't it? Yeah, I
just asked myself, well, where would I do my version of that? And then I would ask myself again, what did I do? And most of the time, the answer was the same. I would leave, I would turn, I would never call them again. I would never see them again. This is my habit, right? I'd shut the door. And man, I would shut the door. I'm a very disciplined door shutter. So I would shut the door. So then I would ask myself, just as an imagination, because I don't know, like I said, most of these people have passed. And I would just say, I wonder what the impact on them was of me leaving and never calling, never coming home again. Ever seen them again, never apologising, never celebrating, never forgiving them forgive. I wonder what that was. And then I would, it was really very easy emotional, to really start to think that I could have hurt these people in a deep, sad way that I perceived that they hurt me, I never imagined that I hurt them. I was always the good guy in the story, the good guy in the story. And I realised that there's no good guy, there's no bad guy, there's just people who have just created a story and the story heard each other over years. And that was the that's actually what happened.
I think that's a really, I'll be it would probably need to practice it. A really neat how to location, sensation, shape and feeling. I'm gonna play sceptic for a second, Dave. I'm not because I line with what you're saying. But someone is listening to this that hasn't, perhaps delved into and immerse themselves in some of the material that you know, I've immersed in. We couldn't be listening to this going. Dave, hang on. What do you mean, you've got a chipmunk pocket in your sternum that's got name. And are you mad? What are you talking about? Memories there in our head?
Surely. Yeah, I'm not. I'm not suggesting we need to respond to the sceptic.
But how would we? How would we answer that? How would we help someone understand what that actually means? Because there's not many people that would, I suspect, be willing to go looking for the chipmunk pocket in their sternum, for a memory of a grandpa and my grandpa's boots, here,
wouldn't do it on a whim, it's a lot of work a lot more. But what I would say on memory stored
in our head,
there's a lot of traditions about where we hold things and where we do things. So, you know, for me, I start thinking about you know, the somatic knowledge, if you start to look at somatic knowledge, somatic tension that makes up the body and there's a lot of work that talks about where things are and the feeling state of the body, and, and the reliability of using a location and a place and a sensation, and then connecting that with something that happens. So that we have reoccurring patterns of where we put certain emotions or where we experience them. I think most people have a have an experience of being nervous and feeling a fluttering sensation in their tummy.
I think people do. I think you're right. Or you're
anticipating seeing somebody who you think you might be in love with, and you feel like this little twitchy feeling that's a little above your navel. You know,
that's a chipmunk pocket.
Yeah, well, some are, let me tell you. Yeah, never data mine. That's my I'll just leave it at that. Just gonna leave it at that. So the idea is that we do have these experiences that we already know, right? We already have these experiences we know we do. When we're when we're about to speak, our throat dries out, and we have a little rasp Enos or a little constriction that we have in our throat. So I think we have quite a few experiences like this. And there are some practices where People break these down and say if we all if we actually started to understand some of these somatic sensations and saw the patterns that we've created, maybe they are a library of sensations that are very similar to and can align with our thoughts, certainly in the world of construction of adult development, and I'll just use that big word, you know, Bob Keegan, and, and some of the others talk about, first you have a feeling, then you have a thought. And then you actually construct the world that you believe is true. And from that place that you believe is true is where your actions go your questions, or auto Lasky is another one that talks about if you understand your inner dialogue, again, feelings that I have thoughts that that I generate after that, and then the world that I construct is true. That's my inner dialogue. So after that, I say I speak I write, I lead, I do lots of things. So if you can start to really understand your inner dialogue, either in real time or in reflection, it allows you to understand, how are you making decisions? Where does your choice come from? Or not? Were you sort of triggered into an emotion become subject where your emotions have you instead of you having them be an object? And, and so it's pretty, pretty well known, as far as my estimation goes that, that our body actually holds knowledge. And if we understand what it means it's just another data source. It's another data point. And so I just spent about 18 months understanding some data points, is really what happened. 18 months two years, lockdown. Really? What did the pandemic do for you? Well, I understood my data points.
Yeah. I've heard people talk about through lockdown that the they were carrying more than just weight.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, I'm with you on that. But I guess the good news story for me is that I can hold them, and I can hold the tension, I don't get rid of them. As we know, our brain patterns, called Brain chunking. We don't get rid of things we just one has dominance over another. So for me, there was a significant amount of guilt and shame and pain and these things that hold held dominance, and dominated my decision making. Throughout all of this, what has been the great outcome of that is that I've been able to sort of clean up some of my decision making, and realise where my thoughts were coming from my feelings were coming from what I believed was true, and then questioned it and try to understand what's my next choice point. And that's, that's been actually really wonderful. It's been it's been a quite a relief. And also, I can better hold the complexity of just everyday life.
So it was that was the turnaround question for you, Dave.
I guess the real question that really started all this off, and it really created kind of an avalanche of, of real reactions to me, then and now, because it's some of this still happens is what might have been the unintended impact of my own actions on others. I was so busy thinking about my the impact that others had on me that I wasn't really thinking that my, my actions, my behaviours, my words, or my absence, really is what mostly it was, would have on others. And, you know, that's what happened. So I'm still sort of sorting through some of those things, not like, you know, I have to talk to everybody and do everything. I'm giving myself a break in ways that I never gave before. And also carrying a little lighter bag these days, because I'm just getting rid of some of the stories and emotions that I used to carry around the chip on my shoulder, I think is getting smaller. I think so. I hope so.
Yeah. Do you want to come back to the things you said at the start? Because I'm fascinated by this. You said, you know, we're very privileged to live a pretty good life. You know, the basics, the roof, the paycheck, the relationships. We work in a field that we both would do any way we love it. At your stage in life, with the work that you've done on yourself, why bother?
Why bother doing this work on myself? Yeah, it's hard work. Right? Why? Why bother? Yeah, it's hard work. Yeah, hard work. Ah, well, I am a driven person. So there's that. But I think beyond that, I guess somebody asked me years ago, you know, what do you really want. And I sat for a second, I said, I'd actually just really liked to have peace of mind. I think it's been a long, long time. And so I guess when I stopped running, and I stopped reacting, as I mean, I didn't stop but less of right. Then I got into my head. You know, this is my life. This is my life. And I think I'm worth it. So what do I want in my life? And that's when I came back to that thing. I'd like peace. And I'd like peace of mind. I still, it's still my answer, because I haven't had it. I haven't had it. I've had moments of it. You know, I spent a lot of time meditating. I've spent a lot of time with Tibetan monks and martial artists. And I've done all that stuff. So for moments, I told myself, I had peace of mind. As soon as I got back in my own head and away from the stuff, then I would have my sort of, you know, tortured, mind stance, keep myself busy, that helps. That's why I was so productive. Because I was so busy in my head, I found I distract myself quite well. But when I really wanted to know, what I wanted, was still peace of mind is still the answer. And that I just couldn't think my way there. I couldn't get I couldn't get there. So that's what started all of this is just, if I'm not going to run and hide and deny, and tell a story about somebody doing something to me, then I have to turn around and take responsibility. And I don't know how, I don't know how, if I want peace of mind, but I don't know how I think that's what started all this.
It strikes me, certainly in the work that we do do with, you know, different businesses. And I'm speculating a bit here we are, we often get asked the how question, how do you do this? How do you do that? What caused you to sit with the tension of not knowing how because often? Because once you know how, right here's the recipe, follow the steps, quick tech done. Not having that slow. Well, I don't know how so I'll just ignore it. I'll just circumvent it. What caused you to any insights about what caused you to stay with that? Even not knowing how?
Well yeah, now that you're asking me this, and if I sit with it, the first answer that comes up is because I was unwilling to do what I had already done.
Right? You'd exhausted but
I exhausted if I'm not going to do what I know how to do, which is run away, create a narrative, and then start something new. That looks like I'm doing something new. I am doing something new, but actually, I'm doing it from right away. Then I have to do something else. I just didn't know what that something else was that I was tired of. Turning. I was tired of running. I was tired of that story. Now that I knew that that was my story that I told all the time. Now that I knew I just couldn't do it anymore. fantasised about it i fantasised about it and I probably practised telling a couple people things to see. If they believe it, then maybe I I could just, you know, for a little bit, say this, this place these people this and then just leave. But there was something that I couldn't Well, I couldn't live that way. And I just decided I wanted to live a different way. And I didn't know what that was. And of course I didn't know how hard it was going to be otherwise I'm not sure I would have done it.
That's interesting. And yet you live with it for long enough and you said something at the start around this, this this consciousness of of knowing that someone else or other things external to you had power or authority and choice over you. I'm going to guess that probably started unconsciously.
Yeah, I didn't know it. I didn't know this words until you know, fairly recently.
Yeah. And once it became conscious I I'm going to guess it wasn't a Hollywood switch, suddenly you wake up one day, and nobody has any power or authority of choice for me, it's probably, I'm gonna guess. And here's my story. It's a gradual osmosis as you navigate this unconscious continuum. Were there any signs and signals on the way that one? You were moving you were there was some progress being made, albeit still holding on to some of the narrative. And was there any point where you went? I'm now at 51%, as I'm now on the other side?
Wow, yeah, right. Hmm. I like them and thought about it like that. There's no Hollywood switch, and it's still going on. So anytime that you think it's over, I mean, it's continuous for me. So I think the first thing that happened was just awareness. I didn't do anything about it. First, I was just noticing that it was happening, I was shocked and horrified. And then I thought, Well, that can't be true. And then it would happen again. And I would notice that when this happens with this kind of person, this pattern, that I would go quiet, you know, one of the things I was working on for a while, and you can imagine how that how, you know, disruptive, this would be a pattern of being wrong and then being punished. So pattern of being wrong and being punished. Well, that's, you know, lots of people. And for me growing up, that was a big, that was a big thing, you're wrong. Now, you're going to get punished in lots of ways. And so the pattern that I was trying to get out is I would just tell myself, that I'm doing the right thing, and that I'm really smart and observant, and I see things which I do. But then what I actually speak up, be present, and understand what's going on and be able to say what I need to say to the people who are bringing me in to do that. And more time than often I would just be quiet, I would be reserved. And I would pull back in and I tell myself a story that they don't need to do this. Now. This is something that I'm probably wrong about. I'll listen, I'll take some more notes, I'll understand it better. And I'll give them a more thorough understanding later. So that's, that's not true. That's another story. But what I had to do is just watch and notice how often that happened. When I started, you know, I do this little hash marks 1234. And then a one minute five that goes across. And when I started, you know, filling a page, I thought, holy crap, this is there is a pattern, I do this a lot. I was just shocked. So probably one of my pointers to let people know is just notice what you notice and keep track of it. You don't have to fix it. Just notice when it happens, where it happens, who it happens with circumstances. And I started noticing reproducible patterns that I'm sure I'd lump together. But actually, there were nuances. Once I started keeping track, and journaling nuances and patterns and frequency. Well, I couldn't ignore it anymore. It just seemed like it was it was like the driving force of my life was something I just wasn't even aware of was going on. And then I had to sit with well, now I've, I've got to do a little nudging on my own system, I've got to experiment with a couple of these, he can't change all these. I mean, I had a lot a lot of these places going on, it was just shocking. So I just started working on you know, one, and an easy one, just to see if something could shift something could have been a point of view. And at first I could notice it and reflection. And then I started noticing a shift I could notice it in real time. I was actually noticing things in real time. Now that was a big for me milestone big pivot point. Right, I saw respectively, right in the moment, unlike Wow. And it helps me with the two leadership questions that I like I asked myself these. And now of course I recommend other people asking them what's happening now. What needs to happen next? Two simple questions. But if I know what's happening now, and I realise I'm in a pattern, I know this pattern. I've got a somatic feeling. Yep, that's that old chipmunk pocket talking to me again. Okay, great. Now that now that I know that this is happening, what's needs to happen next. So I have got choice. And once I was able to do that in real time, well, that was crackerjack. I mean that was phenomenal. That's a wonderful feeling when you're able to take a pattern notice it and change it in real time. It's a phenomenal experience. I'd recommend it.
You've given me a prompt to pause for a second. I'm reflecting on what's happening now. And I've got some appointments coming up. And I'm not holding very well the tension of wanting to respect those appointments, and meetings, and my deeper desire to continue this conversation for the next three or four hours, purely out of self interest. So I'm conscious of that. And so what needs to happen next, I'm going to suggest a pause. I'm going to put a bookmark in it for the moment. And I'm going to close off as we normally do on the podcast with some simple binary questions. But I'd love to invite you back, Dave, and maybe we don't even need to record it. Because the value of I always make notes and what people will say. And it's usually not about strands that I can pick up and loose ends that I can ask questions about in devil up, but deeper, partly out of my interest. But I've made notes for my own journey. For the stories that I've been telling myself. And even and I don't want it to be about how to be even that simple. How do you notice what you notice? Record it? What are the patterns? I think that is gold. absolute gold. So Dave, I first of all want to thank you for the time, but more importantly, more than anything else, the the genuine heart and realness the vulnerability. Because I know, I've felt it and I've been on that journey with you. I know what some of that must have felt like, in my own sense. So thank you for sharing that. Hey, you're
welcome, Pete. Thanks for having me on. And the prompt for the conversation. This is this is actually an emerging story. So it's, it's a new story. I mean, it's happening right now. It's funny that we're thinking now, maybe perfect that we're speaking now. So thank you.
Well, you're welcome. And so maybe a few quick questions. Dave. What's are you sunrise or sunset? Sunset. Cool. Favourite comedian?
Oh, I like Jim Gaffigan these days.
Okay. A word that describes you?
I'd say. Yeah. Inspirational.
Cool. And a word that others would use to describe you. Energetic. Okay. A rule that you like to break.
Authority. All authority.
And a book that's changed your life?
Illusions? Yeah. The blue feather book. Yep. Richard back. Yeah. Richard back. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.
Well, you may know or remember Jonathan Livingston Seagull was the book that will that was my entry point into all of this.
A bridge across forever. It's also one of his books. I've got them all. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. That book continues. I've read it. Many, many times. Yeah. Yeah.
Dave, it's been a pleasure and a privilege. I am so grateful. I wish you and your family the happiest of holiday seasons and all the abundance that you so deserve, without needing to deserve it.
Thank you, Pete. I appreciate you having me on and in being able to hear myself tell the story. Thank you.
Cool. Thanks, Dave. All right.