When a man’s an empty kettle 
He should be on his mettle 
And yet I’m torn apart 
Just because I’m presumin’ 
That I could be a human 
If I only had a heart 

I’d be tender, I’d be gentle 
And awful sentimental 
Regarding love and art 
I’d be friends with the sparrows  
And the boy that shoots the arrows 
If I only had a heart 

Picture me a balcony 
Above a voice sings low 

Wherefore art thou, Romeo? 

I hear a beat, how sweet! 

Just to register emotion, jealousy, devotion 
And really feel the part 
I could stay young and chipper 
And I’d lock it with a zipper 
If I only had a heart 

(From the Wizard of Oz)

Do you ever feel that your thoughts keep your feelings in a cage? Are you ever afraid that if you let your feelings show that you’ll only get hurt? If you do, join the club. So do most people. But what to do about it? Follow one beautiful young lady’s adventure in listening to her heart to learn to trust it and let it come alive in her life…

Heart, do you want to change? If so, how?

I want to be pink and rosy and float, be in connection with the rest of the body. 

So here’s the theme: this emerging potential is pushing you with this depression to wake you up to this disconnection; what it is wanting you to do is take steps that connect your feelings, which are your life blood, to the rest of your body, to the rest of your life. This is a framing of the central issue: how you are stuck and what you need to get unstuck, from the perspective of this one emerging potential. Again, this is not a revelation, but it is what is suggested as the preferred way for you to think about your depression and how to solve it – from one of many possible emerging potentials.

Fear blocks your connection to life:

I am trying to be connected to the rest of the body but the blood is blocked. I would like it to be normal again.  Maybe the fear of giving up the things that Rachael has thought about, the cool knowledge that she has gotten recently.

You are told that you have a tendency to explain and analyze your feelings rather than feel them:

They are too rational. They don’t create any space for emotions. She thinks she can explain emotions so there is no space to feel them.  I think that it’s a very messed up situation! I would show the other parts of the body that I’m a very cute pink heart, that I would like to share my blood throughout and not block it away. I would like the feet to try out seeing what it feels like to have my blood pump out to Rachael’s feet.

Your stuckness seems to be related to focusing on looking good and sounding good rather than focusing on connectivity:

I’m kind of an attractive heart… I’m actually quite confident because I look good! I’m a long, slender, female heart with long hair!I’m not pumping so much blood. I’m looking pretty! I’m looking at myself and observing the situation…

This was a theme in Dragonfly’s remarks as well.

“I take care of myself but sometimes not enough. I know what I should do in order to be healthier but I’m not doing it.”

You will get concrete help in what to focus on to most effectively move through those roadblocks so that you will not only be healthier, but healthier in ways that are foundational, or most important for building health in body, mind, relationships, career, and spirit. So, from the perspective of this particular emerging potential, what is the key to better health?

What should you do in order to be healthier that you aren’t doing?

Let feelings in and through that make me feel more alive…A rosier heart would be healthier but I’m more mature than a rosy heart, so I intentionally don’t want to become a rosy heart again because I would take a step back and become a child again. 

What your heart says next is a very powerful statment of how you have built up a strong, effective persona, or exterior personality or “mask” that is very effective, but you know is not a reflection of how you see yourself – out of touch with your feelings and not as wise as you appear to be. This difference undermines your self-confidence. It robs you of the connectivity that is your life and your feelings.

Because I tend to think of myself as being very intelligent and wise but I often realize I’m not really. I put myself in a higher position than I actually am. I can’t be completely wise because there is no blood inside me. 

I’m not in a flow. I got a little stiff…my outside looks really hard, like a plastic coating. That’s why I can’t pump correctly. That’s why it takes a lot of energy to pump a little bit of blood. Then I need a break.

Your “persona,” or exterior presentation makes you look good, and it seems to help, but from the perspective of the parts of yourself that desire connection and emotional flow, it’s Scheiße. (That’s a technical term; I wouldn’t expect you to understand..Ha Ha!!)

This seems to be supported by what the plastic has to say about itself:

I have to keep the heart in its shape. If it weren’t for me the heart would expand…Maybe it would be too soft.  It wouldn’t look as good any more. It would be out of the neat shape. It would be so soft that it would get hurt by something that pinched it or poked it.

Notice that the plastic does not indicate it has intrinsic worth. It’s worth is based on the reinforcement of others:

Heart, how do you feel about having this plastic around you?

I like it because other people like it.

But that is not a healthy model. Heart says:

But I don’t enjoy it because I can’t really breathe. When I lose it for a second there is air on my skin and I can expand. It takes my air away. I sweat underneath that plastic coating.

You are already outgrowing your need to protect your Heart:

Heart, will you be without your plastic coating for a minute and tell me what that’s like?

It’s tickling because it feels like I’m on a trampoline, bouncing around… I don’t feel as gooey as I thought I would be. I’m more muscular than I thought I would be. I have a round shape. I thought I would be completely flat and wobbly and hang  or lie on some imaginary street inside the body. I’m harder than I thought. I’m not lying. I’m standing.    

Now go back and have the plastic around you and tell me what that’s like for you…

Now I don’t feel like it fits me any more. Now there is some air inside it; it’s too big for me now.

The fact that as Heart you were able to experience yourself as being connected means that your prognosis is good: you will outgrow your depression, or you would not have had the following:

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

I would look different. I would be really white! l would be fulfilled. I would use my full potentials. I would be pumping blood. I might not be connected with each and every vein inside her body but the main ones at least and they could get the blood to the smaller ones. I would be getting blood to and from her feet. I wouldn’t have plastic around me. I can control my shape myself. I can expand and breathe. I can become smaller. I can pump blood much better without it. 

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

She would be happier but I can’t really feel it right now. 

What this tells us is that you are blocking yourself from feeling and experiencing the connectivity that is wanting to be born within you. You may be doing so because you may think that to do so would be to regress to a less rational, vulnerable earlier stage of your life; you may be doing so because it is scary; you may be doing so because you get a lot of reinforcement by keeping your head in control and repressing your emotions.  It could be all of the above.

There are concrete recommendations in the interview for you to test in your life:

• be somewhere in nature with her so that I can get really good oxygen.

• find the other hearts of them and bond so intensively with them that (you) wouldn’t have to question them any more. I would know how their hearts looked and they would know how mine looked. She would be sure that they didn’t want to lose her.

The best way I know to do this is to do IDL interviews with your friends.

• There is an issue of fear of loneliness. The recommendation is to move toward connection with others, including your x-boyfriend:

What type of connection would you like to have with her x-boyfriend, heart?

A good one! Even if they weren’t together! Let both hearts know each other to always rely on each other! 

• I would focus on the relationship with her mother, whether it is healthy.

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

 When she was talking to her parents, hoping so much and trying so hard to be activated but doesn’t feel emotionally free. Her heart plays a tiny role in everything she says because it’s blocked. It would really be good for her to feel empathy when she’s talking to her father or her mother. Maybe because it would hurt when her father told her about himself and his life. She would let it sink into her heart. 

These are recommendations you can test in your life by putting aside your doubts and trying them out. You have nothing to lose by trying them, and you may find yourself surprised that they do indeed help. But in any case, you won’t know unless you take some risks and try.

Besides, you are told that it would be very good for you:

It would be healthy. She wouldn’t get so many headaches. It would give her head relief. She could work halfway head, halfway to her chest. 

So, the way you find out if this is all crazy or real is to follow the recommendations and see if you have fewer headaches and find if you are working more from your chest!

If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?

That I’m too scared to really try…to scared to make the wrong move. It’s telling me that I need to try. Maybe I’m blocking everything out because I’m too scared of getting hurt. But if I don’t get hurt I won’t feel joy either.

Is there anything you want to take away from this interview to apply in your everyday life?

I shouldn’t be so scared…

 

Here are some other comments about the interview, followed by the actual interview:

Integral Deep Listening interviews don’t tell us things we don’t already know. They aren’t designed to. We already know in our inner compass who and what we are. So do our emerging potentials. Instead, IDL interviews are designed to clarify the priorities of our emerging potentials – parts of ourselves that are trying to be born within us.

It is very easy to underestimate the power of getting to know our emerging potentials. It is rather like the wind – easy to ignore, but when harnessed can provide huge amounts of energy. The reason they can be so powerful is that they save you much time and pain in your life by offering you shortcuts to figuring out how best to spend your time and your life. Most people spend their lives collecting experiences that tell them more about what they don’t want to do with their lives and who they don’t want to spend time with and who they don’t want to be, instead of doing what they want to do, spending time with healthy people, and being who they most centrally are.

This interview was much longer than usual because we needed to shift and interview more than one emerging potential, first your dragonfly, then your heart, then the plastic, then the heart again. Also, it will get faster as you get more comfortable with pretending and being spontaneous – having fun being in role, instead of having long pauses in which you try to micromanage the process. There are multiple benefits of learning this skill set. It gets you out of your head a bit more every time you do it; it teaches you to trust yourself; it broadens your sense of who you are; it strengthens the voices of parts of yourself you normally ignore or repress.

There were a number of recommendations that came out of this interview. I’m going to list them for you and suggest how you can create an action plan to test their effectiveness for your life as well as test the effectiveness of IDL dream yoga in general. I’m also going to make comments on each part of the interview to help you understand it and use it and future interviews you do for yourself or others.

Your three life issues are designed for the interview to be practical – to tie in to the concerns that are most important for you today, whenever you do an interview.

Picking the most important issue to you and looking at the feelings is a way to getting at the heart of where you are stuck, what is draining your energy, where you are most in inner conflict. The idea is to assume it is a wake-up call and listen to it, to respect a hurting part of yourself, to welcome it into a growing definition of who you are.

It does not matter what you choose. Don’t try to choose the “right” or “best” thing; simply assume that whatever comes up is what you need to listen to and trust that if it isn’t, that it will lead you to something better, as the Dragonfly pretty quickly led us to interviewing your heart.

These images are metaphors; they say that your stuck feeling is in someway like a dragonfly, in some ways like your heart and how it expresses its condition.

That your heart states there is no blood in it is a way of saying that the part of yourself that is personified by your heart – your feelings – is devoid of life. This is something you know, but now you have a powerful visual metaphor to use to experience your stuckness and to change your relationship with your feelings by changing the blood flow to your heart and experiencing the difference.

Read over the interview sometimes before going to sleep…

 

Here is the actual interview:

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

1 I would love it if the fears of my three best friends – that they won’t always be there. I won’t want to be afraid of losing them.  I do not want to be afraid that I am not as fun and interesting as I used to be. If I knew they would always be by my side no matter what, that would make a huge difference.

2 For me to decide on a skill or career for my future that fulfills me.

3 Be able to let go of the relationship with my x-boyfriend. I feel that the breakup wouldn’t have happened if I had stayed normal. It would be nice to be able to let go of it.

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?

The first. My good friends are changing, moving.  I am not as confident as I used to be. I would hope that they would always be by my side.

What feelings does this issue bring up for you? 

Sad

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

Violet or purple.

 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? 

Dragonfly

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!

Dragonfly, look out at the world from your perspective and tell us what you see… 

The world looks strange because my eyes are round. Everything is bent! It’s purple! I see the top of trees!

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

Im flying around. I’m from India or Africa.   I think I might be in Florida. 

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

I like how firm my body is. I like that I have different segments to my body. I like that I’m quite quick, that I can go up and down! My quickness allows me to duck away from danger or obstacles. When the wind is blowing with me I am faster than most other flying animals because I am so light. 

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

I don’t like the noisy “zzzzz” sound that I make. It’s not a nice sound. I don’t like that my end is so long and pointy. It scares some people. Maybe I don’t like that some birds eat me! 

Dragonfly, you are in Rachael’s life experience, correct?  She created you, right? What aspect of Rachael do you represent or most closely personify?

A fear that she has…It has to do with her heart. 

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

A woman’s shoe with a high heel! But no; because then I would be stiff and someone would put their stinky foot into me! 

I’ll be her heart.

Are you depressed, heart?

I am not as rosy as a heart usually is. I’m more lethargic. My color is more darkish red, greyish. Rachael is not feeling me any more. We aren’t connected as much as we should be. She is in her head too much instead of in her body and inside me. 

Why?

There is no blood inside me. I don’t like my situation. I don’t want to be darkish grey. I don’t have enough blood in me.

Do you want to change? If so, how?

I want to be pink and rosy and float, be in connection with the rest of the body. 

Imagine that is happening. How does that feel for you, heart?

It’s better than to be stagnant and lie around stiff.  I have fresh blood. I look better. It’s warmer. It smells like blood!  I am trying to be connected to the rest of the body but the blood is blocked. I would like it to be normal again.  Maybe the fear of giving up the things that Rachael has thought about, the cool knowledge that she has gotten recently.

Why would she have to give up those thoughts?

They are too rational. They don’t create any space for emotions. She thinks she can explain emotions so there is no space to feel them.  I think that it’s a very messed up situation! I would show the other parts of the body that I’m a very cute pink heart, that I would like to share my blood throughout and not block it away. I would like the feet to try out seeing what it feels like to have my blood pump out to Rachael’s feet.

Would you be willing to pump out blood to Rachael’s feet…

I’m sending it out to her right foot…

Right foot: I’m not feeling it…

Why not???

The heart went away. It’s not pink any more. It’s black again…I prefer being black because it’s easier for Rachael to imagine the color. I want to be a purple color. I’m not pumping so much blood. I’m looking pretty! I’m looking at myself and observing the situation. 

Are you happy or do you want to change again?  

I’m kind of an attractive heart.

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

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

Confidence: 8 I’m actually quite confident because I look good! I’m a long, slender, female heart with long hair! 

  Compassion: 6 I take care of myself but sometimes not enough. I know what I should do in order to be healthier but I’m not doing it. The knowledge of what I need to do is already part of your compassion. 

What should you do in order to be healthier that you aren’t doing?

Let feelings in and through that make me feel more alive…A rosier heart would be healthier but I’m more mature than a rosy heart, so I intentionally don’t want to become a rosy heart again because I would take a step back and become a child again. 

Wisdom: 4 Because I tend to think of myself as being very intelligent and wise but I often realize I’m not really. I put myself in a higher position than I actually am. I can’t be completely wise because there is no blood inside me. 

Acceptance: 6 I am accepting that there are different hearts with different shapes but I am not completely happy with how I’m living life though it seems like it from the outside. I would like to be more compassionate and warmer. I somehow can’t be. So that’s why I’m not accepting myself. I accept other hearts a 7 but for myself a 5.

Inner Peace: ? I know how it is for Rachael – 3 – but I don’t know what it is for me. On the outside I look so shiny and nice but I don’t know how I look from the inside. I can’t really feel it. I keep looking from the outside. I am like a heart standing in front of a mirror.         

Witnessing: 4 Sometimes I feel a little whoosh of blood flowing in but it quickly fades…I’m not in a flow. I got a little stiff…my outside looks really hard, like a plastic coating. That’s why I can’t pump correctly. That’s why it takes a lot of energy to pump a little bit of blood. Then I need a break.

Plastic Coating, What’s your job description?

I have to keep the heart in its shape. If it weren’t for me the heart would expand…Maybe it would be too soft.  It wouldn’t look as good any more. It would be out of the neat shape. It would be so soft that it would get hurt by something that pinched it or poked it.  

Your job is to protect the heart, is that correct?

I can shift my shape sometimes. If the heart wants to be longer with a pattern on it  or have a dent, I can shift it’s shape. It just tells me how it wants to be.

Heart, how do you feel about having this plastic around you?

I like it because other people like it. But I don’t enjoy it because I can’t really breathe. When I lose it for a second there is air on my skin and I can expand. It takes my air away. I sweat underneath that plastic coating. But I like being in that shape. Other organs think, “Oh wow! This is a good looking heart!” If it wasn’t for this plastic maybe I would be really flat. Just lie around, not stand up so straight. 

Heart, will you be without your plastic coating for a minute and tell me what that’s like?

It’s tickling because it feels like I’m on a trampoline, bouncing around… I don’t feel as gooey as I thought I would be. I’m more muscular than I thought I would be. I have a round shape. I thought I would be completely flat and wobbly and hang  or lie on some imaginary street inside the body. I’m harder than I thought. I’m not lying. I’m standing.    

Now go back and have the plastic around you and tell me what that’s like for you…

Now I don’t feel like it fits me any more. Now there is some air inside it; it’s too big for me now. 

Shift back to no plastic again. What’s that like for you now, heart? 

The plastic is back and now it’s fitting.   

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

I would look different. I would be really white! l would be fulfilled. I would use my full potentials. I would be pumping blood. I might not be connected with each and every vein inside her body but the main ones at least and they could get the blood to the smaller ones. I would be getting blood to and from her feet. I wouldn’t have plastic around me. I can control my shape myself. I can expand and breathe. I can become smaller. I can pump blood much better without it. 

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

She would be happier but I can’t really feel it right now. 

If you could live Rachael’s life for him/her, how would you live it differently?

I would be somewhere in nature with her so that I can get really good oxygen. 

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

I would love it if the fears of my three best friends – that they won’t always be there. I won’t want to be afraid of losing them.  I do not want to be afraid that I am not as fun and interesting as I used to be. If I knew they would always be by my side no matter what, that would make a huge difference.

I would hope to find the other hearts of them and bond so intensively with them that she wouldn’t have to question them any more. I would know how their hearts looked and they would know how mine looked. She would be sure that they didn’t want to lose her. 

Be able to let go of the relationship with my x-boyfriend. I feel that the breakup wouldn’t have happened if I had stayed normal. It would be nice to be able to let go of it.

For me it’s not so easy for me to let go of that either, because it’s my nature to want connection! 

Cries…

What’s she sad about, heart?

The x-boyfriend…The fear of losing somebody and being alone and the ego or because she really misses him…I think she actually is missing him…

Why is it hard for her to think that?

It would hurt so much. If you want someone who really suits you, you might have to search longer and you don’t know how it happens. 

What type of connection would you like to have with her x-boyfriend, heart?

A good one! Even if they weren’t together! Let both hearts know each other to always rely on each other! 

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

Her home town – why she doesn’t have this strong binding to a home town like many other people have. 

I would focus on the relationship with her mother, whether it is healthy. Why it didn’t used to be healthy. Is it better now or just the surface that changed?

Her connection with her x-boyfriend. 

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

 When she was talking to her parents, hoping so much and trying so hard to be activated but doesn’t feel emotionally free. Her heart plays a tiny role in everything she says because it’s blocked. It would really be good for her to feel empathy when she’s talking to her father or her mother. Maybe because it would hurt when her father told her about himself and his life. She would let it sink into her heart. 

Heart, you are imaginary. Why should your human pay attention to anything you say?

It would be healthy. She wouldn’t get so many headaches. It would give her head relief. She could work halfway head, halfway to her chest. 

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

She has been thinking about me. I have wanted to talk. 

Have you gotten to say pretty much what you’ve wanted to say, heart?

Yes.

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

She ignores it when she starts to think again! 

What would you recommend that she do about that?

She’s very focused on her head. 

Heart, do you think and feel at the same time?

Yes. Probably. No…Actually…It’s possible that the heart is even a little bit more intelligent than the head! 

Thank you, (Character!) And now a couple questions for your human:

If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?

That I’m too scared to really try…to scared to make the wrong move. It’s telling me that I need to try. Maybe I’m blocking everything out because I’m too scared of getting hurt. But if I don’t get hurt I won’t feel joy either.

Is there anything you want to take away from this interview to apply in your everyday life?

I shouldn’t be so scared…