Everybody has life issues. They may be about healing the body or relationships. They may be about balancing life challenges, as we have to do when we move, inherit a lot of money, or experience a serious loss. They may be about transformation, as when we get married, start a new career, or awaken the kundalini in meditation. A life issue may feel like a weight on your shoulders or it may feel like a marvelous opportunity. It may be an important life goal. In any case, Integral Deep Listening assumes that you can access perspectives that are invested in how you deal with your life issues that want to be born into your awareness, since they are affected as well. If you take the time to interview a sampling of them, you will experience broader and more liberating perspectives on whatever challenges you face. These alternative but valid perspectives can have a profound effect on how you feel about your life issues as well as how you approach them.Consequently, IDL can have a huge constructive impact on your success at handling your life issues, whatever they may be.
In interviewing your life issues, IDL mimics your spontaneous and innate dream creation process. After you list your three main life issues, you choose the one with the strongest emotional pull. Then you ask yourself, “If this feeling had a color, what color would it be?” Then you imagine that color filling the room. Now watch that color congeal and condense into a shape. Whatever form it takes is the right one! Now you will interview it, as if it were a dream character, using the IDL Interviewing Instructions.
IDL Life Issue Interviewing Protocol
Joseph Dillard, LCSW., Ph.D.
What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?
Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?
What feelings does this issue bring up for you?
If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?
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?
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!
_____, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?
(Character), what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?
(Character), what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they?
(Character), what aspect of _____ do you represent or most closely personify?
(Character), if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?
(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, 0-10. Why?
Compassion, 0-10. Why?
Wisdom, 0-10. Why?
Acceptance, 0-10. Why?
Inner Peace, 0-10. Why?
Witnessing, 0-10. Why?
(Character), if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different? If so, how?
(Character), how would _______’s life be different if he/she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?
(Character), if you could live _____’s life for him/her, how would you live it differently?
(Character),if you could live _____’s waking life for him/her today, would you handle ____’s three life issues differently? If so, how?
(Character), what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of ______’s life?
(Character), in what life situations would it be most beneficial for ____ to imagine that he/she is you, become you, and act as you would?
(Character), why do you think that you are in ______’s life?
Thank you, (Character!) Now here are a couple of questions for _______:
What have you heard yourself say?
If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?
Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made:
Every night before you go to sleep read over the recommendations you choose to work on. Score yourself 0-10 on how you did on each. Read the interview over several nights a week to incubate a non-drama alternative reality in your dreams.
Find a partner or a support person, like another person who you exchange interviews with or an IDL Practitioner. Exchange emails. Send a report each week on how you have done on applying your recommendations. Don’t worry about perfection; just focus on making a game out of doing better!
If you interview a life issue, please post it on our blog for us to benefit from your work! Also, we will be happy to support you in understanding and using what you discover.