As it turns out in the following interview, both nothing and everything.

 

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

1 Getting my books edited and published.

2 Strengthening the antidotes to drama: luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance.

3 Deepening my meditation practice

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?

A friend, Eugene Kovalenko, sent me two dreams he has had about Barak Obama. This was in response to a tirade of discouraged angst from me on how let down and disappointed I am in Obama as US President. He was prompted to interview his dream Obama, so, in the understanding that I am shadow boxing with an aspect of myself that I feel discouraged and disappointed in, I told him I would do the same.

 

So the feeling is disappointment

 

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

Olive green.

 

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 green olive with a red pimento in it!

 

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!

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

I am just hovering in Joseph’s mind’s eye. I’m a good looking olive, with an oil sheen. I will taste good, too.

 

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

I am perfectly myself.

 

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

Nothing to dislike. No weaknesses.

 

What aspect of Joseph do you represent or most closely personify?

I have that same color, olive green, of his disappointment, but there’s nothing disappointing about me. You get what you expect when you bite into me, although I admit I am an acquired taste. Joseph didn’t like me when he was young and a lot of adults don’t. But of course I couldn’t care less.

 

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

I think I would be a jar of olives so that I would still be around when any individual “me” was eaten. Or maybe all olive trees so that I would really always be around. Yeah. I like that idea. All olive trees! With their olives!

 

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

Olive trees, what the hell do you have to do with Barak Obama and Joseph’s disappointment in him?

How should I know? I didn’t create me!

 

Olive Trees, 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 Individual examples of us die but we as a species live on.

Compassion: 10 When compassion means “selflessness.”

Wisdom:   ? We are excellent at being olive trees.

Acceptance: 10

Inner Peace: 10

Witnessing: 10

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

I don’t think so.

 

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

Well, he certainly wouldn’t think about Barak Obama. He thinks he needs to stay knowledgeable about current events, but it’s all drama. It’s all the Drama Triangle. How does staying knowledgeable about any of that build his presence with the six core qualities? Hmmmm???

 

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

I would live it like me. One with nature, one with his nature. I would let go of all that external drama that he has no control over anyway.

 

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

1 Getting my books edited and published.

 

If he gave up his addiction to the news he might be surprised at how much more he found he could get accomplished.

 

2 Strengthening the antidotes to drama: luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance.

 

Very good. Same response as above.

 

3 Deepening my meditation practice

 

Another good goal. Also same response as above.

 

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

 

1. Letting go of drama.

2. Embracing the moment.

3. Living.

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

When he catches himself in drama, out of the moment, or afraid of death.

Olive Trees, do you do drama?  If not, why not?

I am cycles of existence that transcend and include drama.

 

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

To help him get out of drama and live more fully.

How is Joseph most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?

Keep checking the news.

 

What would you recommend that he do about that?

I would cold turkey stop for a week, then re-evaluate.

Joseph, what have you heard yourself say?

I couldn’t see how an olive and then olive trees had anything to do with Barak Obama. The connection is clear to me now. My disappointment is a reaction within the Drama Triangle that wouldn’t happen if I wouldn’t go there. The Olive and the Olive Tree don’t go there. They don’t relate.

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

Trust yourself. Let go of the drama of current events and see what happens to your goals for your life issues.

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

Yeah. Stop reading the news on the internet.

 

This interview was a real surprise, although I long ago learned to suspend my assumptions about what is going to come up in one. I approached it with an interest in finding out how I react to a part of myself (Obama) and misjudge it, then project that out onto the real Obama, who I don’t respect at this point.  That is not what came up in this interview at all. When the olive green color of disappointment became an olive green, green olive I thought, “You’ve gotta be kidding. An image that is a concrete depiction of the color! How uncreative!” I was prepared for the interview to go nowhere. Then, when the olive said it had no clue what it had to do with Obama, I was sure the interview was going nowhere – a rarity in my experience.

 

It wasn’t until after the scoring that the message came through, but when it did,it was crystal clear:

 

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

Well, he certainly wouldn’t think about Barak Obama. He thinks he needs to stay knowledgeable about current events, but it’s all drama. It’s all the Drama Triangle. How does staying knowledgeable about any of that build his presence with the six core qualities? Hmmmm???

 

We all want to grow. We want to change. We want to become “enlightened,” whatever that is. But do we want to pay the price of growth? Are we really willing to change? Do we want to become enlightened – as long as it’s in our way and on our terms?

 

Following the thinking and the recommendation of Olive Trees – not to stay knowledgeable about current events – would mean a huge change in priorities for me. I spend a lot of time every day surfing the internet staying informed on topics of concern to me. These Olive Trees are not interested in Barak Obama per se, but with that entire perspective that makes Barak Obama a concern at all for me. I hadn’t expected that at all. This is a good example of what happens when you practice Integral Deep Listening: you may get more than you bargained for.

 

When you do get more than what you bargained for, what do you do?

 

I decided that while what Olive Tree said is probably true, that I am addicted to the drama of news, that its advice is extreme. Therefore, I decided to trust it and stop looking at the news for a week and to see what happens with my productivity during that week. Then I will re-evaluate and maybe find some modified position that is not so extreme. I’m pretty sure the Olive Tree will continue to voice its current extreme position, but it is only one of many of my emerging potentials. I can consult other high-scoring ones and see if they agree with Olive Tree or whether there is some way I can stay in touch without being addicted or affecting my productivity.  But so far, I’m surprised that I haven’t missed the news or the internet surfing. My theory is that because the change is supported from parts of myself that are more awake than I am, that it’s a natural vector for growth, meaning that I am encountering less resistance than I thought I would. If that is the case, the implications are similar for you: there are changes you can make in your life that you either have not considered or have dismissed as unrealistic or too difficult that you will find much easier than you expect – once you feel that support from parts of yourself that know you and love you more than you know and love yourself.

 

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