target

Do you have someone in your life that loses their temper? Catie asks, “How can I live my life without reacting to the pressures of others?  How can I learn to respond instead of react so I don’t feel bad about my over-reaction?

This interview was with a mother, Catie, forty-three, who hated that she would lose her temper and yell at her kids, destroying her inner peace. The arrow that personifies Catie’s lack of impulse control is a metaphorical expression of how she relates to her anger and her irritability, and its transformation points to interesting ways that she can change the way that she relates to her temper, her irritability and her frustrations. This sense of being stressed out took an orange color and the form of an arrow.  As you listen to what the arrow had to say, ask yourself, “How much of this applies to me when I get stressed?”

“I am metal, without feathers, and very fast; I can hurt with my sharp point.  I’m trying to hurt, Catie, to pierce her in her back, where she doesn’t expect me.  I love it when I pierce her and make her anxious and she doesn’t feel comfortable.  I surprise her in a bad way – in the back, or when it’s dark…I’m strong in my destructiveness. I only have bad qualities.  My being is quite destructive.  My doubt is a weakness; it means I might become slower or not stay exactly on course.”

“I personify Catie’s very depressive, hopeless, inflexible self that feels trapped and feels that it has no choices but to explode or attack, or lash out.  It’s the same feeling she had when she exploded at her son.”

“I could be of another material. I should change a lot.  If I were to be anything I wanted, I would be a wooden, flexible, sporty, elegant arrow. I am her when she is clear and decisive. I would like to become a multifunctional arrow that could be used by kids with a nice bow.  I would like to have another future with more options. People can use me as a weapon as well but they should use me in a respectable way, not shooting from behind or in the dark.  Children would learn from me how to use a weapon, because I exist, and they should know me.   I would tell them to use me in a very traditional way, like only shooting animals for food and to be more in contact with my purpose and target.  They would know my power and what is an appropriate and inappropriate way to use me.  I don’t feel hopeless.  There are always alternatives.  I don’t get depressed because I feel good with myself.  I maintain my flexibility with olive oil.”

This transformed arrow scored itself ten in confidence on a scale between zero and ten.  “Because I know I can help.  I am used as a kind of therapy, to learn to concentrate.  I have a meaning now. I am also a ten in wisdom because I’m so old and full of experience.  It will be that way in the future. I score a nine in acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing. Because I’m balanced inside it’s easy for me to have a bit of distance from things.  I score a seven in compassion and am a bit more compassionate with people and other arrows.”

“I was dangerous, awful, and terrifying before.  I am so changed from before. Catie is on her way.  If she remembers to be me, she will continue in the direction she is taking.  She has changed things with her illness but it has to do with duty.  She will always be ninety percent duty!  She should do things that she likes.  She should think that SHE’S important! She would be happier. She can be much more creative; she can make her writing a pleasure rather than a fight. She would do things for herself which don’t just have to do with duty and kids, like go on a skiing tip in February that a friend invited her on.  She has never had the idea of doing something like that.  She has wanted to go to Cuba since she was fifteen.  She has wanted to learn French!”

“I wouldn’t live in a heavy way, since I’m a light arrow. I would remind her of this feeling I have as this arrow, to have someone beside her to remind her to “Let things be!”

“Regarding her first life issue, continuous income, she needs to think about the people who offer her work.  I would concentrate much more on this; she should accept the offers of others much more.  Because it is my nature to focus much more she would take the direct way; she wouldn’t be scattered.  I don’t fly out of duty, but for sport, fun, and to be alive!  She can have multiple arrows. She needs to let us go and trust that we will find her targets.

Notice how Catie is re-formulating her relationship to her work to reflect the positive characteristics of this arrow. It gives her focus and a sense of fun in her work rather than doing it out of duty. There is a sense of abundance provided by multiple arrows so she is not driven by a sense of fear and scarcity. 

Her second issue, inner peace with her children, received this recommendation from her arrow:  “When your son gets on your nerves you need to tell him in one sentence, with eye contact. Have him repeat what you say.  Be clear and convincing; then you will be heard and respected.  You need to think about me hitting the target! If you do, you will be more balanced even when others don’t react like you want.”

Imagine yourself taking this same advice. Would your communication with others be different if you imagined yourself, when you were talking to others, as an arrow that is hitting its target? 

Catie’s third issue was about stress with her parents and with her sister. The arrow said, “As an arrow, I don’t have stress.  I’m on my way! She needs to stay on her own course.  If she does, she will not spend so much time explaining to her parents and others. She does so much out of a sense of duty.  I don’t do things out of a sense of duty. I would find out the points in her life where she can relax.

Experience yourself as such an arrow with stressful relationships. Imagine yourself staying on your course, not being knocked off by the comments or wishes of others. Notice that because you are so focused on where you are going, you do not waste time or energy explaining to others. They understand who and what you are about by what you do and what you accomplish. Notice how much simpler your life and relationships then become.

The arrow said, “It would be most beneficial for Catie to become me when someone provokes her or she feels stress within herself.  At those times she needs to keep on her way.”

Arrow, Catie is so stuck in her waking perspective that she is likely to forget about you.  Some people find it useful to put up pictures in their bathroom, car, or at work to remind them of when to become a character.   Some give their worries to them. Others have their friends talk to the character when they get stuck.  Some keep a record of when and how they are to be used and when they have used them.  A few have even created “tarot decks” of interviewed dream characters or personifications of waking life issues, like Catie’s arrow, to remind them of when and how to use them. What do you think would work for Catie to keep you a real, living part of her daily life?

“Catie, keep pictures of me in your car and beneath pictures of your family members, to remind you to become me when your children get on your nerves in the car or when you have to deal with your parents or sister.”

Integral Deep Listening encourages people to read over their interview some nights before sleep to change the quality of their sleep and dreams away from drama and toward the priorities of their inner compass, as expressed by their interviewed emerging potentials. It also encourages a list of recommendations from the interview so that those of one’s choice can be tested in daily life to see what difference they may make. Here are recommendations from Catie’s arrow:

“Become me when:

– you want to stay focused, light, flexible, and balanced;

– you are getting overcommitted;

– you want to handle conflict in a non-aggressive way, like with your son;

– you want to stay on your life course and not feel conflicted by feelings of duty;

– you want to remember that your anger is a weapon that you can use in appropriate or inappropriate ways;

  • you want to remember that you can have multiple arrows and not get confused or overwhelmed;

– you want to trust your own inner sense of direction!

Consider putting up pictures of arrows where you need to be reminded of it!

 

Here is the transcript of the original interview:

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

1. Continuous income

2. Inner peace with children – 11 yo son – lost it in the car

3. No stress with my parents and my sister

Which life issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?

The second one.  I’m afraid of having these attacks that destroy my inner peace.

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

Orange

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?

An arrow

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!

(Character,) would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I can hurt.  I am very fast.  I am metal.  I don’t have feathers.  I don’t need them. I have a point.  I’m trying to hurt someone – Catie.  I try to pierce her where she doesn’t expect me.  Her back. I love it when she’s anxious and she doesn’t feel comfortable.  I want to surprise her in a bad way – in the back or when it’s dark…

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

No.  Only negative strengths.  I’m strong in my destructiveness.

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

I only have bad qualities.  My being is quite destructive.  My doubt is a weakness – I might become slower and might not stay on course exactly…

Arrow, you are in this person’s life experience, correct?  They created you, right?Arrow, what aspect of this person do you represent or most closely personify?

I personify Catie’s very depressive, hopeless, inflexible self that feels trapped and feels that it has no choices but to explode or attack, or lash out.  The same feeling as she had when she exploded at her son.

When I am a wooden, flexible arrow I am her when she is clear and decisive.

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

I could be a sporty, elegant arrow.  I could be of another material. I should change a lot.   I would like to have another future with more options.  I would like to become a multifunctional arrow that could be used by kids with a nice bow.  More elastic, made out of wood.   Men can use me as a weapon as well but they should use me in a respectable way.  Not from behind or in the dark.  Children would learn from me how to use a weapon.  I exist, and they should know me.   I would tell them to use me in a very traditional way, like only shooting animals for food and to be more in contact with my purpose and target.  They would know my power and what is an appropriate and inappropriate way to use me.  I don’t feel hopeless.  There are always alternatives.  I don’t get depressed because I feel good with myself.  I maintain my flexibility with olive oil.

(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: 10  Because I know I can help.  I am used as a kind of therapy, to learn to concentrate.  I have a meaning now.

Compassion: 7 I don’t think about it.  If it’s required I can give it but I don’t put any energy into it.

Wisdom: 10 I’m so old and full of experience.  It will be that way in the future.

Acceptance: 9 Of myself, I’m there, it’s OK. Of others, yes.

Inner Peace: 9 I feel good on the outside from the surface.  I feel good about myself.

Witnessing: 9 I’m balanced inside so it’s easy for me to have a bit of distance from things.  That balance is accepting me!

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

I’m very close to myself.  I’m just myself.  I am so changed from before.  I was dangerous, awful, and terrifying before.  I would be a bit more compassionate with people and other arrows.

How would Catie’s life be different if she naturally scored high in all six of these qualities all the time?

She is on her way.  She would continue in the direction she is taking.  She would accept and do things for herself which don’t just have to do with duty and kids.  A friend invited her for a skiing tip in February.  She’s forty-three now. She has never had the idea of doing something like that.  She should do things that she likes.  She should think that SHE’S important.  She has changed things with her illness but it has to do with duty.  She has wanted to go to Cuba since she was fifteen.  She has wanted to learn French!  She would be happier.  She will always be 90% duty!  But she can be much more creative. Her writing is a fight rather than a pleasure.

If you could live Catie’s life for her, how would you live it differently?

I would have someone beside her to remind her, “Let things be!”  To remind her of this feeling I have.  I wouldn’t live in a heavy way.  I’m a light arrow.

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

1. Continuous income: She should accept the offers of others much more.  She has pursued three different types of work.  She needs to think about the people who offer her work.  I would concentrate much more on this.  I would focus much more.  She would take the direct way.  Then she wouldn’t be scattered.  I don’t fly out of duty.  She can have multiple arrows. She needs to let us go and trust that we will find her targets.

2. Inner peace with Children:  When her son gets on her nerves she needs to tell him in one sentence, with eye contact. Have him repeat what she says.  Clear and convincing.  Then she will be heard and respected.  She needs to think about me hitting the target.  Then she will be more balanced even when others don’t react like she wants.

3. No stress with her parents and with her sister: as an arrow, I don’t have stress.  I’m on my way. I would find out the points in her life where she can relax.  She needs to stay on her own course.  She would not spend so much time explaining to her parents and others.  I would just stay on course.  She does so much out of a sense of duty.  I don’t do things out of a sense of duty.

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

When someone provokes her.  Stress in herself.  At those times she needs to keep on her way.

Arrow, Catie is so stuck in her waking perspective that she is likely to forget about you.  Some people find it useful to put up pictures in their bathroom, car, or at work to remind them of when to become a character.   Others give their worries to them.  Others have their friends talk to the character when they get stuck.  Some keep a record of when and how they are to be used and when they have used them.  A few have even created “tarot decks” of self-aspects to remind them of when and how to use them. What do you think would work for Catie to keep you a real, living part of their daily life?

Keep pictures of me in your car and beneath pictures of your family members to remind you to become me when your children get on your nerves in the car or when you have to deal with your parents or sister.

Here are some of the recommendations:

1. Become your arrow when you want to stay focused, light, flexible, and balanced.

2. Become your arrow when you are getting overcommited.

3. Become your arrow when you want to handle conflict in a non-aggressive way, like with your son.

4. Recognize that the arrow doesn’t feel duty.  You can stay on your life course and not feel conflicted by feelings of duty.

5. Know that anger is a weapon that you can use in appropriate or inappropriate ways.

6. Know that you can have multiple arrows and not get confused or overwhelmed.

7. Consider putting up pictures of arrows where you need to be reminded of it!

8. Trust your own inner sense of direction!