Is your love relationship more like a sprouting flower or a decomposing tree stump? The truth is that it probably has qualities of both. The challenge is, “How do I have more sprouting flowers today in my life?” “How do I have less of a sense of decay, of being cut off from life?”

While such visual metaphors give us helpful ways of looking at our lives and our relationships, IDL is about much more than creating helpful images. It is about accepting the bad and the ugly in our lives while experiencing and so growing into the good and the beautiful. Ignoring or repressing the parts of ourselves that are cut off from life, like a tree stump, will only create internal war and suffering. It will cut us off from an authentic part of ourselves we need if we are to be whole. But imagining that we are a sprouting flower all the time is naive and inauthentic as well; you and I are much more than that. IDL interviewing helps us to accept the ugly and grow into our wise, good, and harmonious potentials. Every time that Tatyana remembers to become her sprouting flower she chooses gratitude over confusion, fear, or worry.

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1 My relationship

2 My career focus

3 Financial

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?

My relationship, my marriage. Confusion, irritation, sadness, and drama.

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?

Brown

Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What?

A tree stump

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Tree Stump, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I am this dead part of what used to be alive – tree. I’m disconnected.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I don’t really like anything about myself. I’m decomposing. I’m in transition. I used to be a living tree and now I’m turning into something else. I’m supporting others. I’m supporting the earth. I can be a home to other things.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

I don’t like that I feel so alone. It’s a weakness that I’m not really growing anymore.  I’m dying.

Tree Stump, you are in Tatayana’s life experience, correct?  She/he created you, right? What aspect of Tatayana do you represent or most closely personify?

The old part of her that she doesn’t need any more.  She’s outgrowing doubt and distrust.

Tree Stump, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I would like to change…I would like to rapidly speed up my process of decomposition and go back into a sprout.  A flower!  It feels great!

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

Sprouting Flower, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities:  confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 10

Compassion: 10

Wisdom:   9

Acceptance:   9

Inner Peace: 10

Witnessing:   8

Sprouting Flower, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

I would be really rooted in those things. Gain a little more confidence in all of those things. Surety. Fully embody them!

How would Tatayana’s life be different if she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

She would have an easier time handling her emotions. When she experiences confusion or anxiety she will come back into a place of acceptance, understanding, and trust. She would feel a sense of peace in her life – all over.

If you could live Tatayana’s life for him, how would you live it differently?

I would encourage her to experience gratitude for everything. When she perceives things as a challenge remember that it’s really a blessing. There’s a gift in everything.

If you could live Tatayana’s waking life for him/her today, would you handle Tatayana’s three life issues differently?  If so, how?

1. Relationship: Change the focus from she doesn’t like about it to all the beautiful benefits that lay within the relationship.  She would have more ease for herself and in her home environment for everyone.

2. Career Focus: Stay in a place of gratitude! She needs to put her energy into her priorities. Not spread herself too thin. Not too many modalities. Integrating it all into her practice.

3. Finances: Prioritize how she spends her money! Invest in that which is most important!

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Tatayana’s life?

1. Staying connected to her spiritual practices. Sharing the knowledge and gifts that she has with as many people as she can.

2. Giving to the world!

3. Focus on her family, her wellness, and living a spirit-filled life surrounded by the people that she loves and cares about!

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Tatayana to imagine that she is you and act as you would?

Any time that she starts to worry or has a desire to achieve something. If she remembers and tunes into me then it all will become easy again.

Sprouting Flower, do you do drama?  If not, why not?

No!  There’s no reason!

What is your secret for staying out of drama?

I am very aware of the beauty that surrounds me.  My focus is on magic that’s happening everywhere instead of something that’s created out of fear and that is meaningless.

Why do you think that you are in Tatayana’s life?

So she can remember who she really is – a compassionate, wise, loving, creative, joyful being!

How is Tatayana most likely to ignore what you are saying to her?

By worrying!

What would you recommend that she do about that?

Spend just a few moments of every day remembering what it is to be me. In her meditation, just tune in with that. Take a few breaths,intentional time just looking outside at the beauty that is everywhere.

What do you think about that tree stump, sprouting flower?

It was needing to show her how it was a part of something…It’s the worry, the heaviness…it can change!

Tatayana, what have you heard yourself say?

I love this sprouting flower!  It’s important for me to put my focus on what is really meaningful to me – my family, friends, connection to source, to be grateful for all the beauty that surrounds me.  to remember that who I really am is alive, joyful, connected, useful person!

If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of yourself, what do you think it would be saying to you?

Don’t get into drama! Give more to my family, share!  Don’t worry!

The more that Tatyana remembers to become her sprouting flower the more she will supplant her worries about her relationship into a sense of gratitude. The more that she does so, the more resources she will bring to bear on its challenges and choices. Often it is not so important what we choose to do – for instance, whether Tatyana chooses to stay in the relationship or not – but how she chooses to feel today. If she worries today, she will worry with a new partner in the future. If she learns not to worry today, she is much more likely to be happy, regardless of who she is with. This is the important teaching that Tatyana’s stump and sprouting flower have for her. Concerns and problems are genuine parts of life, and so is new growth.