So You Want to Be an Inside-Out Coach?

“If the only thing people learned was to not be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world.”—Sydney Banks

When it comes to the inside-out paradigm, and coaching or teaching from this perspective, here’s something that my many years of working with athletes, teams, organizations, families, and all kinds of clients has taught me:

It’s simply insufficient to tell others that objects, circumstances, events, people, or environments can’t cause them to feel a certain way. It’s simply insufficient to tell them that their thinking, not the object or circumstance, causes their feelings. And it’s simply insufficient to try to prove the two previous points by saying something along the lines of: “If the object or circumstance was causing you to feel bad, then you’d always feel bad in the presence of the object or circumstance.”

Why?

Well, as a so-called inside-out coach, I, or you, can’t have it both ways. It’s flat-out confusing to suggest to others that what they experience is fashioned from inside to out and, at the same time, infer that what they experience is genuine, permanent, or real. In other words, what human beings experience is either a projection of consciousness from within (from God) or it’s not. And if it is, then the true reason that objects and circumstances can’t cause feelings is because outside of experience, outside of the projection, objects and circumstances can’t survive.

To illustrate, let’s say a pro golfer who’s just missed a ten-foot putt to win a major championship is feeling awful, and he calls me for help. The facts, to him, are: He missed the putt, he feels awful, and he wants to feel better. Now, since at the moment he’s clearly connecting his feelings to the missed putt, if I tell him they’re not connected, that he’s only feeling his thinking, odds are he’s not going to see it. However, if I help him recognize what the human experience truly is, and where it comes from, then it won’t matter if he’s connecting his feelings to the missed putt or not.

What will matter?

That he’ll stop fearing and fighting the experience because he now understands that it’s nothing more than an uncontrollable, impermanent, or unreal projection of consciousness from within. And it’s not logical to fear and fight an uncontrollable, impermanent, or unreal projection from within (again, from God).

Make sense? If yes, here are my final questions for the coach in you today: Are you ready to jump full bore into what the inside-out paradigm really stands for? Are you ready to consider that the widespread assumption that we experience objects and circumstances because they’re permanent/real might be mistaken? Are you ready to help others end their external search for happiness by resolutely pointing away from the transient content of experience and inward toward its permanent source?

You see, from where I sit, you simply can’t help a fellow human being by validating, in any way, shape, or form, the assumption mentioned above. What’s experienced cannot endure independent of the power to experience. That’s the foundation of the inside-out paradigm. The inside (within or God) creates the outside (what’s experienced). To make it as an inside-out coach, there must be zero percent wiggle room when it comes to this fundamental fact.

Thank you for reading,
Garret

What’s Essential

About ten years ago, my son Ryan was going through a rough break-up with his first girlfriend. Sadly, his thinking was getting the better of him. He just couldn’t wrap his head around losing someone who, he thought, was such an essential part of his life.

One day, in the midst of this struggle, I made my way upstairs to his bedroom, hugged him, and said, “I know you’re upset, kid, but remember, nothing or no one is essential to your life—except the consciousness from which your life is created.”

With a puzzled look on his face, Ryan asked, “Isn’t Mommy essential to your life? Don’t you two need each other?”

I replied, “Ry, if something happened to your mother, I’d be devastated, but I’d survive. No, we don’t need each other. And, believe it or not, the fact that we don’t need each other, or knowing that we’re not essential to each other’s existence, is why our bond is so strong.”

Ryan smiled and admitted, “I don’t really get it, Dad, but for some reason that’s comforting.”

“Back burner it, kid. We’ll talk about it another day. You want to throw some pitches?”

“Perfect.”

And off we went.

Flash forward a decade, both Ryan and I “get it” a whole lot clearer now.

While experiences come and experiences go, the ever-present space of consciousness is permanent (i.e., essential). Like the screen on your computer, consciousness remains the same. What projects out of the screen—sometimes wonderful, sometimes regrettable—does not.

As for the reason why understanding the above is the source of such a strong and loving union, here you go:

Because you cannot be in love and lack something at the same time, love is the complete absence of anything personal. Love has no personal wants, no personal needs; no push, no pull; no ego, no demands. Love makes no attempt to derive something from the other.

Rather, love is a deep knowing that two people share, and are sourced by, the divine presence of consciousness. Not an exploration of two separate or impermanent selves, love’s an exploration of only what’s essential; only what lasts forever. It’s through this mutual exploration, or journey, that two human beings become ONE.

Thank you for reading,
Garret

A Life-Changing Question

Here’s a question (not a life-changing one, that comes later) related to last week’s article, http://garretkramer.com/the-worlds-an-illusion/: Why would a good portion of readers become offended when faced with the suggestion that the objective world exists solely in experience, or that the objective world is not a subjective reality?

Before I answer, let me tell you, this is precisely what happened last week. Never have I received so many disgruntled messages. Many of you just couldn’t wrap your heads around this inside-out aspect of my teaching. And some of you took it personally—extremely personally.

But why? Why would the mere suggestion that objects and situations are illusory seem to set so many people off?

The answer is important, so I’ll do my best to explain.

Have you ever experienced tragedy, heartbreak, abuse, or bullying? All of us have. Have you ever experienced good fortune, joy, friendship, or love? All of us have. And here lies the confusion. From birth, we’re conditioned to believe that these experiences result from people, places, and things. If a person experiences either bullying or love, for instance, that’s because of the presence and actions of another human being.

But then, some whacky dude like me comes along and points to the possibility that the whole outside-in paradigm just might be flawed. I ask: What if another human being, the bully or the love, only exist in experience? What if he/she doesn’t exist outside of mind; outside of consciousness? What if the world you live in, and everything about it, is created from the inside (from consciousness) out?

Now, mind you, I’m not saying the above is true; although it’s logical to me. I’m simply asking a what-if-it-were-true type question. And, again, what transpired when I did? Some reached out and exclaimed, “C’mon, G, how dare you say my heartbreak (or tragedy or joy) didn’t happen? Who are you to say the love of my life isn’t real?”

Whoa.

As I said last week, this suggestion—that experience is real but the content of experience is not—is an affront to everything that most human beings THINK is accurate. It’s an affront to their sensibilities; an affront to their belief systems; an affront to their culture (which has taught them to place attention on possessions, goals, environments, circumstances, and people OVER the consciousness from which they spring), so this reaction is expected. And 100 percent innocent. Thus, it’s perfectly fine with me.

You might be interested to know, however, that reminding those with whom I work that experience is merely a projection from within—that the seer and what’s seen cannot exist independent of each other—appears to light a spark in others, and bring freedom and relief, that’s beyond the description of words. That’s why I’ll end this article with another relevant, while perhaps slightly strange question. One I ask about ten times a day:

Have you ever interacted with the objective or material world OUTSIDE of an experience (or outside of a perception, or outside of consciousness, or outside of awareness, or outside of the true self)? Settle in before you respond, the answer just might change your life.

Thank you for reading,
Garret

The World’s an Illusion?

“Objects are an illusion.” “Other people are an illusion.” “You’re an illusion.” “The world’s an illusion.”

Indeed, certain spiritual teachers and philosophers, since pretty much forever, have inferred or flat-out insisted that the external world and objects in it are nothing more than projections from within (i.e., from consciousness, universal mind, or God). Sydney Banks, for instance, called the world a “divine illusion.” Heck, I even pointed readers in a similar direction two weeks ago: http://garretkramer.com/experience-and-reality/. But what exactly are these spiritual teachers and philosophers attempting to convey when talking about illusions? Are they actually saying that the phone or computer on which you’re reading this article doesn’t exist?

Well, sort of, but not exactly. I mean, you’re at least somewhat immersed in the experience of reading this article on a phone or computer, aren’t you? Of course you are, and there lies the answer. When spiritual teachers and philosophers say that the world and objects like phones and computers are illusions, what they mean is this: While experiences are real, what you experience, or the content of experience, is not. In other words, what you experience is merely a figment of the universal power TO experience. Independent of that power, objects would cease to exist.

Trust me, I get it. For most, this principle—the foundation of the inside-out paradigm—is a complete affront to the rational mind. Everyone’s been brought up to believe that objects are real; that they’re experienced because they exist. And in this article, I’m suggesting that objects exist because they’re experienced. Yet, here’s a relevant question to ponder: How are we fairing under the current outside-in, objects-are-real-and-meaningful, framework? Are we living in peace? In tolerance? In generosity? In love? The answer is obvious.

Perhaps, then, living in peace and prosperity isn’t about striving for objects for the simple reason that objects aren’t real or made of matter, after all. Rather, they simply appear real in the moment. If that’s true, the implications are endlessly positive. Endlessly encouraging. Starting with this: Objects can’t cause feelings because they’re nothing more than the transient content that experiences are made of.

What is meant when spiritual teachers and philosophers talk about the illusory world of form? Short answer: There’s no such thing as an unreal experience. The images experienced, however, are pure mirage.

Inward and up,
Garret

Strategy Versus Understanding

Today, in the worlds of mental performance and self-help, it seems like everyone has a strategy. If you’re reading this article, you probably know that bigger and better strategies are introduced on a daily basis. Yet, here’s something that’s almost always overlooked when it comes to strategies that seem to work: They’re a byproduct of understanding (i.e., inner wisdom, knowledge, or instinct).

Meaning: Without understanding, strategy falls apart. Or, a said a different way, it’s understanding, not strategy, that causes excellence. That’s why the multitude of people who bypass understanding and go straight to some strategy that they find in a book, see on TV, or copy from a coach or advisor, ultimately struggle to find excellence.

To illustrate, when it comes to the sport of golf, no strategy is more widespread than the “pre-shot routine.” This strategy—designed to fend off nerves, control feelings of pressure, and thus hit desired shots—is pretty much a staple at all levels of the game. However, in the history of golf, a pre-shot routine has never caused a desired shot. Not once. What does? Well, relative to talent: understanding. Understanding that all feelings are normal and no feeling is superior to another. Players with understanding may indeed go through pre-shot routines. Instinctive routines, that is. On the other hand, players who, void of understanding, execute pre-shot routines in an unnecessary quest to fix feelings or cope, tend to jam instinct (programming behavior always does) which prevents wisdom from rising up and excellence from occurring.

Last thing: Don’t be fooled by the short-term results that may appear to come from adopting someone else’s strategy as your own. Correlation does not equal causation. The foundation of excellence is, and always will be, understanding. And the more strategy you intentionally put into practice, the more you obstruct understanding.

It’s a one-way street. From understanding, great strategy is born. This formula, however, never works in reverse.

Thanks for reading,
Garret

Experience and Reality

One of the central tenets of my work is reminding people of the futility and risk in trying to fix, fight, control, or alter their experiences. If you’re reading this article and don’t know much about my work, that might surprise you. You might wonder why, if you’re having a bad or, let’s say, anxious experience, it’s not in your best interest to fix it?

Here’s the short answer: What you experience isn’t real. And you can’t fix something that’s not real.

To demonstrate: Let’s say you’re an ice hockey player and you’re in the midst of an awful experience. It looks like your coach doesn’t care about you, and he’s treating you poorly. As a result of this experience, you’re feeling more and more upset. You’re getting angry and frustrated. You want relief from the feelings, which you think your coach is causing.

But what if I told you that you aren’t actually experiencing your coach at all? What if your coach has nothing to do with your feelings?

Well, you aren’t and he doesn’t.

How do I know? Slowly, I mean super slowly, consider this question: Independent of the ability to have an experience, does your coach, or any object, even exist? The answer is . . . no. Take away the power TO experience and there’s no coach. And that means your coach can’t be causing your upset.

It’s mind bending at times to see, but your experiences in life are nothing more than a spontaneous projection from inside to out. Sure, it’s fun to hang out in the projection, to use the projection for human wants and needs, and to be the best you can be within the projection. It’s just essential to know that while it seems real, feels real, and looks real, this projection (what you experience) never is.

To play the game, you must understand that it is a game (i.e., not real). As mentioned above, it’s futile—not to mention extremely taxing and potentially harmful—to try to fix experience. Now you have a glimpse as to why.

Inward and up,
Garret

Jack Pransky’s Autumn European Trip – November 4

November 4, Saturday

The first day of the Viva event. I had thought I was peopled-out, but when I got over to Viva, it was wonderful to see everyone. I had Mick take my box of books over to the other hotel and I walked there this morning. Jan helped me sell them, very kindly. When I got there, the first thing I was asked was if I would be willing to take Peter Anderson’s place to facilitate a breakout group with Amanda O’Shea on well-being, because Peter was sick. Since Amanda asked me, I agreed and it turned out to be a good experience. I also really liked Elsie Spittle’s talk that morning. Both Elsie and I said how much we were looking forward to being on the same stage presenting together at the end of the Viva event, because we have never done that before. I then attended Jenny and Sue’s breakout on insights, which was very nice. For the afternoon break, Amanda asked me if I would be willing to have lunch with some people associated with the addictions rehab place she works at because they read my books. I am so impressed at what Amanda has been able to accomplish over there almost single-handedly. I enjoyed that luncheon too. But I did need to go back and take a nap before the session started again. After Rani Bora and Jenny’s session on mental health, then I did another breakout group on the health of the helper with Katja. Very few people attended but we had a nice, small little circle, and the time just flew by. Then Frederick accompanied a singer on guitar, and then played fiddle for the group, which was really nice. Then I met Rudy to plan for tomorrow’s presentation on Our True Essence. It was a busy but good day.

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November 4
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Jack Pransky’s Autumn European Tour – November 3

November 3, Friday.

Gabriela and I took the long walk to Altea. We had a really good and enlightening conversation, up in a little garden overlooking the sea with a view all the way to the Albir lighthouse and Benidorm. Up in Altea, we had brunch in the beautiful courtyard in front of the church, then went into the church, which is one of the most beautiful little churches I know. Then we did some shopping and more talking and walked back to Albir. Gabriela gave me shopping lessons. It was a great and very productive time. When I got back, I had a long and really nice Skype call with Nicole. Then I wheeled my clothes in my suitcase over to a distant hotel to do a laundry. I got there a little too late to have my clothes dry thoroughly, so I had to take them out of the dryer still damp, because it was time to get to the Viva presenters meeting—except that I wanted to get my bag of damp laundry hung out in my room before I went over there. But on my way I bumped into Lili walking in the other direction and she checked and found out the presenters meeting had just started. So I turned around with my suitcase full of damp clothes and walked with Lili over to the meeting at the other hotel. If I hadn’t bumped into her I may have missed it. As it is, I walked into the meeting late. But it was nice to see my fellow presenters, including Elsie and Rudy. Mick drove my bag of clothes and me back to the hotel Rober Palas, just in time for a late dinner.

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November 3
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Jack Pransky’s Autumn European Tour – November 2

November 2, Thursday.

Karen Raimbault, former trainee and now good friend and working partner, came for a visit, after visiting a friend of hers in Alicante. First, we hung out  with a bunch of the people with whom she had trained before, such as Sheela, Katja, Sally, Mick, Lise, Fredrik and Sue. Then after lunch Karen and I stopped at the gelato shop, where we had the ice cream man take a picture of us outside his shop with his sign behind us, so we could send it to Richard, our former ice cream buddy, and rub it in. Then we walked up to lighthouse and sat up on the high cliffs overlooking the sea, where we shouldn’t have gone, but hey… We had a great walk and talk, catching up after a long time. When we came down, Karen wanted to collect some of the round, smooth rocks from the beach. We grabbed a tea and talked about the project we are doing together. Karen then had to leave but that night after dinner, Fredrik told me he was going to play some fiddle tunes up in Katja’s room. So I went up there–Lili, Ylva and Gabriela joined us, and we had a great time. First, I played a video of my son Dave’s band, Locos Por Juana, and everyone really loved it. Then Lili played a video of her son’s band, and I really loved that. Then Katja and Fredrik put on a swing dancing exhibition; I couldn’t believe how graceful they were. Then Gabriela danced to mariachi music. Fredrik played the violin, improvising to all of it. Then he turned the violin into a fiddle and played his favorite, Irish music, and more. That boy is talented! I loved it all. Great day!

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November 2
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Jack Pransky’s Autumn European Tour — November 1

November 1, Wednesday.

My first of three free days! Big trek day today. Peter (Sue’s husband), Fredrik, Liliana and I hiked up the tallest mountain nearby, the name of which escapes me already, but it overlooks Guadalest. It was gorgeous up there, if cloudy and misty and chilly. Parts of it seemed like we were on Mars. We set a mean pace; it took everything I had to keep up. Parts of it were challenging. But it was oh, so worth it. We didn’t plan on going to the very top, but we did. Great company, too. All around great time. I had to get back for a 4:00 massage, so at 3:30 I took a bath and fell right asleep in the bathtub, but luckily not for long. Good massage. Then I was going to go out to a restaurant with Fredrik, Lili, Jo and Ylva, but instead chose to stay and eat in the hotel with Mick, Katja, Eimar, Sally and Lise. Best pallea yet! Most everyone is probably out partying, but I am going to sleep. I’m exhausted.

 

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November 1
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