Integral Deep Listening as a Way to Heal, Balance, and Transform Families
Below you will find short descriptions of the following videos as well as links to them:
We can change the world, one family at a time, starting with our own and expanding out, throughout our circles of influence to support the healing, balancing, and transformation of families globally. Dreaming Healthy Families is about sharing your night-time dreams with your family and having your children ask one or more character in your dream, like a monster, car, cat, or toothbrush, questions about life issues that matter to you. These interviewed characters will make recommendations, and if any sound helpful to you, you can decide to see what happens in your life when you put them into practice, and your children can help keep you on track! Each family member experiences being both the interviewed subject and the interviewer, in a fun process of self-discovery that clarifies misunderstandings, builds relationships, and heals families. Dreaming Healthy Families is not limited to dreams but also to interviewing the personifications of life issues that matter to you, like a knife-like or burning pain in your back. Why not ask the knife or the fire if they have anything to say? Or perhaps someone is in the “pit of despair” or is trapped in an addiction. Why not ask the pit or the cage? If the knife, fire, pit, or cage make recommendations that make sense to you, why not let your family help you make any changes you want to make? Our world is in pain in many ways – from disruptions and degradation of nature to chaos in our communities and nations. The solutions that work best will be authentic, welling up within us, as if out of a deep inner spring, rather than imposed on us from the outside, by others. At the same time, our individual path forward will speak to our collective development as one humanity.
A great way to start is to have your child interview you! Just give them the questions and have them read them to you, one by one. As you answer, type your answers into the on line interviewing format at IntegralDeepListening.com (you have to sign up for it), or copy an interviewing format at “Questionnaires” at IntegralDeepListening.Com, put them in your own word processor, or just take notes. Still another option, particularly with younger children who are not yet good at reading, is to go to the video in this curriculum in which I read the questions for children’s, adolescent, and adult dream and life issue interviewing formats, and you or they can answer the questions, just pausing the video when necessary to allow time to do so.
Also, the interviewing formats are available on line in a way that allows all the information to be recorded and shared. Just go to “Getting Started with IDL On Line Interviewing” in our video curricula. The answers provided by your interviewed character can be typed in following each question or you can use voice recognition to automatically enter your answers. This produces a transcript which can be reviewed later by the interviewed family member, when they are no longer taking the perspective of this or that dream character. It also provides a record to refer to later, for use with a coach, and as a teaching tool to help other families who are learning the process. The record also helps our community of families to improve the process and become that much better at helping families move into greater happiness.
Do you ever find that you hurt the ones you love the most? Just like you and I can have nightmares, families can as well. IDL helps to wake families up out of dreamlike, nightmarish drama. All families, despite how happy and healthy they may look like from the outside, are locked in socially scripted dreamlike dramas. If you are a parent, you are stuck in the role of parent, whether you like it or not, and your children are stuck in the role of child, whether they like it or not. It’s safe to assume that your children dislike being stuck in their role as children just as much as you dislike being stuck in your role as perpetual parent. Both of you do it because you think you have to, that you have no other realistic or workable choice. If you stop acting like a parent your children won’t respect you and you won’t feel like you are being a good parent; if your child stops acting like who you want them to be, you may fear that they will grow up disadvantaged, and so you express your disapproval or discourage them from doing things you disapprove of. In this video I explore how and why we stay stuck in our familial scripts and how IDL can help us outgrow our dependency on them.
Our familial scripting creates our sense of self and we become addicted to that identity, which creates a fundamental barrier to our happiness and developing healthy relationships. We develop our sense of who we are as an adaptive strategy to relate to the world, grow, and stay in control. Maintaining control creates and maintains our identity and a strong sense of who we are helps us stay in control. Therefore, our most fundamental addiction, besides our identification with our sense of who we are, is to staying in control. Our dreams can easily threaten our sense of control, and therefore our confidence that we know who we are. Ending family nightmares with IDL involves sharing control with interviewed emerging potentials that possess perspectives that include yet transcend our own.
If we are to wake up as families, out of socio-cultural scripting that keeps society stuck in self-defeating delusional patterns, we have to address two factors. The first is our fixation on our waking sense of who we are. Reality does not orbit around ourselves, our families, our in-groups, or our national loyalties. A second factor is our addiction to the Drama Triangle and its three core roles of persecutor, victim, and rescuer, not only in our relationships with others but in our own minds, IDL is designed to wake families up out of these two fundamental blocks to accessing our emerging potentials and life compass.
Imagine you are a young child sitting in the family room with your parents, brother, and sister. Your mother is talking about three life issues that are daily challenges or concerns for her: a lump in her left breast, disagreements with your father over whether to put money into college savings for you kids or whether to pay off high interest credit debt, and how to deal with you when you watch TV instead of doing your homework. Many people will tell you that the first two issues are hardly appropriate for parents to share with their children. Why?
Now your mom shares a dream that she had. It could have been from last night or last week, or when she was six. It doesn’t matter, but it happens to have been from last week. You listen to her dream with curiosity…In this video the family interviewing process is described from the perspective of a participating child.
As a child, participating on an ongoing basis in this process with your family, it’s natural. It’s not unusual. It’s the way you grow up. You assume it’s something that families do. What sort of family culture do you suppose is being created? What values do you imagine yourself learning as you grow up? Here are some possibilities.
You learn that listening to yourself is important. Without deeply listening to other points of view within yourself you cannot be sure that your plans match those that want to emerge from within you. Most people are eagles that grow up in chicken yards; they spend their lives scratching and pecking without knowing that they were born to soar. They have never learned to look in the mirror of their own consciousness. This video describes a number of other important things as well that children learn from participating in the IDL family interviewing process.
What values would a child raised in a family that used IDL Family Interviewing grow up assuming? That listening to ourselves is most important; applying daily what we hear in practical and concrete ways is natural; those around us can and will support us in this process; confidence, security, self-esteem, control, and power come from alignment with the agenda of unique, personal emerging potentials that do not die, not from social conformity; and that growing in a balanced, whole way is much more effective than pushing what we want on ourselves.
If enough families in a school community began practicing this process, what would be the long term consequences for the school?
- These principles can be expected to generalize to many areas of life, including learning, work, problem resolution, and leadership.
- Kids would grow up in a cultural context of transpersonal perspectives that emphasize values like respect, reciprocity, empathy, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing. This would largely compensate for and defuse the natural narcissism and short-sightedness of immaturity.
- Problem identification and treatment would largely be proactive rather than crisis-oriented. Problems would be identified sooner and solutions more easily found because an effective support system is already in place, starting with the child’s family. This would largely reduce the need for massive social financial, physical and mental health support systems.
- The creativity of students increases as they access innovative interior perspectives on the issues that concern them. Consequently, their interest in learning should increase, along with their sense of satisfaction with their lives.
- With the reduction of inner resistance and access to transformative aspects of self the personal development of students should not only be much smoother, but quicker.
- Children will feel less alone and isolated growing up. They are less likely to feel that no one could or would understand their problems. Consequently, they would be more likely to talk about them.
- The goals that children set their hearts on are less likely to be self-centered and driven by the desire for acceptance, fame, or power. They are less likely to waste years in the fantasy that they will be a rock star or reach the major leagues. Their goals are more likely to reflect the agenda of a consensus of their own interviewed emerging potentials. As a result, they are more likely to succeed in life, because they are more realistic, have less internal resistance and conflict, and more internal support for their life direction.
- The speech and actions of children in school would be more likely to occur from a place of inner consensus rather than superficial, impulsive selfishness.
- Students would be more likely to feel that all humans are family members, because as they treat them so they are treating those aspect of themselves that they represent. Consequently, they would be more likely to feel supported by other students and teachers and to give their support in turn.
IDL Interviewing of dream characters and the personifications of life issues is fun, powerful, and intimate. As a result, interviewing others can be extremely valuable, meaningful, and rewarding, but at the same time, problematic. This is because fun, power, and intimacy don’t always go together. Fun can often mean an escape from intimacy. Power can be manipulative and also an escape from honesty and intimacy. Intimacy can be threatening. Both intimacy and power can undermine our sense of personal control over our lives. What looks fun at the beginning can turn into something that is dead serious. Here are several recommendations for how to approach introducing IDL interviewing to others.