23 October 2014
Crossing The Threshold
I have been busy in my atelier designing many new things … and I wanted to share with you some of the updates of my thinking and design.
I have an arbitary date on the starting point of the MythoSelf Process as sometime in the early 1990s. If I use the date I began delivering NLP training with the flair of Roye’s ”Generative Imprint” model included it was sometime in 1990. If you want to go to the coining of the phrase, “The Mythogenic Self Process” I believe it was around 1994, if you perfer a more precise date we could jump forward to 1997 when I presented a workshop at the International Association of NLP in Phoenix, AZ entitled The Mythogenic Self Process.
Worst cast scenario using 1997, I’ve been doing this for coming up on 18 years now as MythoSelf stuff. If we go back to 1990 I’ve been at it for coming up on 25 years, almost half my life (more than half my life at it if we were to go back to when I first met and began training with Roye).
So it seems time for a major update and resetting the lines in the sand. Let me start us off with a very brief trip down memory land (VERY BRIEF) …
The Early Days …
The original work I called the Mythogenic Self Process was almost fully based in the learning I received from Roye Fraser and his Generative Imprint model, with a framework based on Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” model. To be fair at that time I was already deeply looking into oriental spirituality, including material that came out of the Levant’s monotheistic mystical tradition and Central Asia as developed by G.I. Gurdjieff, and his 4th Way model of transformational change.
So my most earlist work was a presentation of Roye’s model with a strong nod to Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and a slighter nod towards oriental spirituality.
Then I began to really explore the implications of mythic form as I continued to work with and learn from Roye, including much more conversatonal hypnosis and metaphor into my working with clients. By the 1997 IANLP Conference when I presented the Mythogenic Self Process workshop, my work was fully informed by both of these forms of working at the edge of language, and beginning to take on a much more embodied form already.
In 1997, at the NLP Community Leadership Project, hosted by Robert Dilts, Judith Delozier, Suzi Smith, Tim Hallbom and Lara Ewing for over 150 NLP trainers from all around the world I argued for an inherent epistemology present in NLP that was based in the singularity of body and mind. I was well on my way to shifting from a language based model of changework to a fully embodied model.
At that same conference I also delivered a presentation on the MythoSelf Process which garnered me invitations from three prominent NLP trainers to come and deliver programs to their students. I did that later in that same year, along with Nancy Ludwig (later Nancy Riggio) who co-presented them with me. These programs were based in the newly organized way I had begun to think about the integration of the material I had been working with, namely NLP, hypnosis, Roye’s “Generative Imprint” model, Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” model, and my own thinking about this material into the synthesis into some kind of unified form.
By 1999 I had organized the idea of the MythoSelf Process model into enough of a coherent form to begin presenting what I then call Mytho2 – Facilitator’s Training for folks who wanted to learn how to use the model I’d been working with for almost ten years at that point.
At that time I had basically boiled down a seven-step model to lead people through Roye’s Generative Imprint process of accessing the Ready State … then I added in a steps to update their autobiographical narrative and integrate it with a purely somatic form that created what I called a future memory. This is what I was training folks to do with others and use as the template for their work with clients of their own.
The Corruption …
In my attempt to make things ”as simple as possible, but no simpler” I began referring to the outcome of the MythoSelf Process work as ”being at your best” … and it caught on. The challenge was that when folks experienced the GDS (Generalized Desired State) that Roye’s model led them to they got caught in the desire to have that experience over and over again, like an addict!
I get it … accessing GDS, especially for the first time, is crazy powerful and compelling. Simply put it’s all about the experience of fully and completely going to and accessing the core of yourself, experiencing a pervasive sense of wellbeing connected to a powerful awareness of being positively organized and being aligned in a way where anything that you are capable of becomes possible for you.
”HOLY COW BATMAN!!!” … how could anyone resist wanting that??!!!???!
But, the challenge became the addition … being at your best … and the way folks who experienced it for the first time experienced it. ”Dang … it’s really powerful!” … so it traps then into thinking ”This is IT!!!” … but it’s not …
The GDS is just the doorway, or a window, into what’s possible … not the beginning and end all!”
The greater challenge was that my facilitator’s believed it too, and they found themselves lost in chasing the dragon of GDS, and thinking they had to experience every moment, every person, everything in a positive way.
This is just another form of solipsism and Pollyanna thinking … but this path leads directly to the bottom of Pandora’s box!
They way I began to see it was that folks had begun taking Roye’s incredibly powerful model, and my work, and trivialized it … turning something sacred into another New Age, hoochey-goochey fantasy like the Laws of Attraction or “The Secret” … total B.S.
Now … don’t go and get all defensive on me. There’s something to thinking positively and holding strong intentions in mind. There’s definitely value in projecting what you want into your future and being able to reorganize yourself so you can access a positively held state (what we like to call the excitatory bias BTW) … but …
”Ain’t nothin’ happens until you take positively organized, intentional ACTION! … AND know how to pay attention to the feedback from the systems you operate in and make appropriate adjustments at every step.” – Joseph Riggio
NOTE: I began to refer to this loop of positively intending an outcome, taking action, paying attention to feedback loops and making adjustments as you go as the trinity of POWER | CREATIVITY | INFLUENCE a little more than a year ago when I began to offer monthly teleseminars to support my clients in getting what they want in their lives.
Okay … so it was really time to update the model … drastically!!!
Moving Forward …
Around 2003 things began to come to a head for me … I could no longer in good conscience offer MythoSelf Training based on the old models … but I hadn’t yet figured out a new model that would keep the baby, throw out the dirty bathwater and replace it with something wholesome instead.
I realized I needed to examine my own process deeply.
I’d actually begun doing this when I picked up the challenge of pursuing a Ph.D. degree. I focused my research on tranformational change in human systems, which resulted in a neurolinguistically modeled phenomenography that I produced in the form of my dissertation i.e.: “Towards A Theory Of Transpersonal Decision-Making In Human Systems”.
In that process I learned a lot about what I actually do and how I do it … and it was outside of what I had been teaching and what was out there elsewhere as far as I could tell.
Keeping it ”as simple as possible, and no simpler” the basis of the changes I began to notice was in the extent to which they were indeed truly embodied, linking the autobiographical narrative (i.e.: your life story as a semantic form in language and symbols) and the body-based expression of it (i.e.: the physical, somatic form expressed in gesture, expression, posture and movement) inextrixably in an highly aesthetically framed way, (i.e.: poetic, graceful and elegant).
I could no longer teach … GDS … or at least not as a distinct form separated from the rest. I began to work in an almost purely conversational, dialogical manner.
From then on I began to play with the form of my teaching, training and private work … by 2005 when I had finished writing my dissertation and received the doctorate the work I was doing was completely transformed and becoming much more powerfully transformational.
My clients began reporting substantial, pervasive changes in their lives … leaving relationships, jobs and entire careers and lives behind them to pursue their fascinations deeply and fully. Others reported that they had reclaimed the foundations of their relationships or vocational passion that they had lost years before. Some of my clients when onto doing amazing things in their lives … getting married, having and raising children (after years of hoping that would become true of/for them … and losing hope after years of disappointment), building substantial businesses (some getting into the tens of millions of dollars of revenue), or finding new ways to express themselves artistically like writing the book they’d always wished they had, or playing the music they loved for audiences who seemed to love it as well.
So it seemed to me I had uncovered something substantial … despite not fully knowing the explicit code yet. But there was more to come …
New Beginnings …
Recently I’ve begun doing what I call ”Foolish Wisdom Workshops … because I think I may have crossed the ephemeral edge of becoming a bit of a wise (old) fool … like the first “certified” wise fool, Socrates. He was the Greek philosopher who was declared the wisest man in Athens by the Delphi Oracle. He disagreed, wondering how that could be possible because he knew that he knew nothing. Then he realized that he knew he knew nothing and that might indeed make him the wisest man in Athens.
I too now know something of knowing nothing …
It’s obvious to me that the key in working with clients as I do, with an intention to help them access transformational change to achieve the performance breakthrough they need/want that I must remember that they possess the skeleton key, and my job is only to help them discover it … NOT TO PROVIDE IT!
While I come to the party with tremendous skills honed over many tens of thousands of hours my clients hold all the cards in actuality, not me. At my best I’m simply a guide … albeit a skillful one. The secret to achieving what I now think of as transformational performance is a massive alignment of all the resources a person possess with their innate, essential way of being.
The way of being I refer to is held somatically first, as a body-based, physical experience that creates the ground from which all other experience arises. Sometimes folks refer to this as ”state” … the essential way of being that we operate from and know ourselves to be. The first and foremost experience that arises from whatever state you are in is perception, i.e.: what we perceive from the sense data available in the environments and contexts we move through, both on our own and with others.
You simply cannot act effectively in the world if you are not able to make sense of the world around you. Sense-making is the process of decoding and encoding your perceptual experience. While I would make the argument that you experience the world and others around you as pure sensory forms prior to sense-making, you only know about what you perceive through the process of sense-making, i.e.: codifying your perceptions. This is the essence of situational awareness.
Situational awareness is the basis from which you make decision and take action … it’s really that simple.
You cannot make better decisions or take more effective action than your situational awareness (or lack thereof) allows you to make and take.
So what I uncovered in terms of process was that Roye was spot-on about starting from state … let’s call it somatic awareness for now. Then when you begin to develop and add in really strong sensory awarnesss, i.e.: the ability to perceive what’s happening in real time, you begin to gain an almost super-human ability to process the situations you experience … i.e.: you begin to become highly situationally aware.
This was it … a new beginning … the start of acting like a wise (old) fool for me.
It was also the beginning of rewriting the model I’d been developing for more than two decades.
I started by throwing out the bias towards the GDS, feeling good first … and replaced it with a bias towards ACTION! … doing stuff despite how you feel about it.
This simply broke the addiction, and opened the way for my clients to begin truly manifesting the lives they intended.
One Step Back … 100 Steps Forward
When I completed my first disseration for the Ph.D. I found one thing in particular stood out … INTENTIONALITY.
In fact I spent a large portion of the writing I did for the Ph.D. exploring the concept of intentionality … projecting an intention into the future and acting intentional in relation to it … as a function of perceiving the world through a particular lens that is aimed beyond the individual, i.e.: NOT SOLIPSISM!
Here are two examples I used in that document:
”The most common idea associated with intentionality is that of Franz Brentano, the 19th century philosopher, relating to the idea of “phenomena that point outside themselves” (The Oxford Companion to the Mind, Oxford University Press 1987).
”Consciousness is said to be intentional, meaning that consciousness always has an object, whether that intended object be a physical object, a person, or an idea or a feeling. Consciousness is always a “consciousness of” something that is not consciousness itself. This particular way of defining of describing intentionality directly implies a deep, implicit interrelatedness between the perceiver and that which is perceived that characterizes consciousness in this approach. (pp 99- 100 Transpersonal Research Methods for the Social Sciences, Braud and Anderson, 1998)
Based on my research I made this claim in that paper:
“This aspect of intentionality, or trans-intentionality, in regard to this study is the transpersonal position where the subject and the object become one, transcending space, time or both. That is, the individual transcends the ordinary consideration of how space and time are normally considered, i.e.: local, linear and uni-directional generating the experience of sequentiality in regard to causation and decision-making. Transcending these limits of space and/or time to include the transpersonal aspect of intentionality would create a potential opportunity to rewrite the rules of causation as we ordinarily consider them in regard to decision-making.” (pp. 17-18 “Towards A Theory Of Transpersonal Decision-Making In Human Systems”, Riggio, 2005)
I have to admit now that I didn’t realize at the time I wrote this how powerful a concept I had uncovered … “INTENTIONALITY” was the skeleton key I had been seeking all along.
Now the question became how could I help my clients to access the power of intentionality, and my students to learn to use it with their own clients.
Almost ten years later the answer seems obvious … INTENTIONALITY must manifest in action NOT thought (or feelings)!!!
So I set about rebuilding the MythoSelf Process model from the ground up to led to action … doing things. However, what is special about this is that all the things to be doing are grounded in the essential autobiographical narrative (your life story) that arises from the ground of the essential somatic form, and is fed back into that form as the final check in taking action.
The story you are living must match with perfect congruency the essential form of who you are for you to have the experience of your life, to make powerful decisions, act with effortless potency and create the outcomes you intend.
This meant that the model I was developing had to help clients rewrite the stories they held about themselves, the world around them, others they encountered and the outcomes they intended with them and on their own, in their bodies and minds as a singular form manifest in the decisions they make and the actions they take.
This is what has been brewing in the caludron of my atelier for the last ten or so years.
NOTE: FWIW I’m now pursuing a second doctorate about the deep nature of the transformational performance consulting work I do with clients … and I’m at the point where I’m placing theory underneath the process I’ve explicated … but more about that sometime when I write to my “professional” clients who want to learn how I do what I do.
Closing The Loop (for now …)
I’ve been running my new process of working with clients in my Foolish Wisdom Workshops with small groups and I’m about to run my first ever training using this new process in Denmark that I’m calling Your Implicit Self: Awakening Sensory and Situational Awareness – 4-6 Nov 2014, Holte, DK (you can click that link to learn more).
I’ll be revealing all my new found insights and the process behind what I’m doing in the Foolish Wisdom workshops over the two days of that program … and I have to admit I’m damn excited about it!
There’s a lot more … but I’ve gone on for sometime in this particular missive, so I think that’s enough (for now …). BUT … I promise to open the kimono even more next time … ‘“~>
Joseph Riggio, Ph.D.
Oakland, California, USA
PS – I’m running a Foolish Wisdom Workshop this weekend in Sausalito, California at the Cavallo Point Lodge and there’s one open chair in the room left as of today. If you’re interested here’s the link you need to read more … and register if that seat’s yours: Foolish Wisdom – Oct. 25 – Sausalito, CA
While there’s only one seat left in the room, you can also “attend” via my Live Internet Simulcast … or after the fact with the program recordings. You’ll find info on the page about those options as well.
PPS – If your in Denmark, going to be around or you can get to Denmark next week you really should check out my upcoming workshop … and you might even want to attend the Foolish Wisdom weekend workshop I’m running on 1-2 November (Saturday/Sunday) at the same venue in Holte … Your Implicit Self: Awakening Sensory and Situational Awareness – 4-6 Nov 2014, Holte, DK
If you want more information about any of my upcoming programs just write to me and I’ll make sure someone helps you get what you need: firstname.lastname@example.org