Navigating Our Experiences
Is it possible to teach the CEO of a large corporation how to enter a fully co-creative relationship with the universe in every aspect of their business dealings?
If so, this would be an accomplishment that is truly evolutionary. The answer is “yes.” This evolutionary approach to navigating our experience, which I have been sharing with people for many years, and which I have been using on a daily basis myself since the mid-’90s, is fully explained for you in the body of this letter. It is what I used to get The Presence Process published.
People are still astounded that I, an unpublished author from South Africa, secured a publishing deal in Canada with Namaste Publishing after only sending out one manuscript. How is this possible? It completely shatters all the assumptions of “how difficult is it to get published” that freeze many potential writers in their tracks before they even type one word. The answer is, “I consciously navigated that experience.” Now, I am traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada teaching and facilitating a procedure that is evolving our approach to restoring emotional balance within our human condition. How did I accomplish this? Do I have a degree in psychology? Did I take public speaking classes? No. The answer remains the same: “I consciously navigate my experiences.”
Yet, it is deeper than this. I navigate my experiences in such a way that “I get out of the way” so that the entire force of the universe may be brought to bear upon the outcome of my intentions. Is this difficult? No, it is the easiest thing in the world. Navigating our experience is our human birthright. Today, I observe so many people struggling through their lives because they do not know this simple procedure. They then get seduced by spiritual fads that tell them “they can get anything they want as long as they think positively.” In response to this predicament, I freely offer up this knowledge, asking only that you share it just as freely, so that all may have the opportunity to drink of the well of an unlimited universe in a manner benefiting our whole human family.
The intent to consciously navigate our experience is evolutionary. It elevates us above and beyond all religious, political, or economic ideology that bases itself in victim and victor mentality.
An Evolutionary Approach
One of the most useful practices we may embrace is “the conscious navigation of our experiences.” Of course, being willing to enter such a practice requires accepting responsibility for the quality of every experience we enter—a great challenge in a world that thrives on victim and victor mentality. It is more convenient to become reactive and blame others for our circumstances than it is to take responsive action to transform them. Because the resonance of reactive blame is an addiction that is hard to quit, it is easier to throw our hands up in the air in dismay and spend our time moaning about the world. Victim and victor mentality is also the acceptable frequency upon which most of our media and entertainment industry thrive. It is how we are accustomed to behaving toward ourselves, our families, our loved ones, and anyone who reflects an aspect of our own heart that is yet unintegrated.
By behaving as if we can change our circumstances through imposing our will on the outside world, we constantly enter revolutionary behavior. The word revolutionary reveals the inevitable outcome: We wind up revolving into the same circumstances from which we are attempting to depart—and often worse. To continue to be “a revolutionary” in this day and age, in the face of the overwhelming evidence that it only leads to deepening segregation and chaos, is deeply ignorant—ignorance being “the ignoring of the obvious.” What is called for now is evolutionary behavior, a behavior whose consequence does not lead us directly back into the pit of the experiential circumstances from which we seek liberation.
A revolutionary is a mentality that resorts to the same means to liberate itself as it perceives is being used to propagate its suppression. By resorting to this mentality, a revolutionary always becomes an oppressor. An evolutionary differs in that they transform their experience using a means completely different from whatever is perceived to be the method of oppression. In fact, to authentically become an evolutionary is “to realize oneself as the only oppressor to be dethroned.” By taking this approach, an evolutionary navigates into a completely new experience.
The intent to consciously navigate our experience is evolutionary. It elevates us above and beyond all religious, political, or economic ideology that bases itself in victim and victor mentality. It is an approach founded on integrating the mechanics of the foundational attributes that manufacture our human experience—not on involvement with policies, doctrines, ideologies, and cultural agendas. To successfully navigate our experience simply requires awareness of what, in The Presence Process, I call “The Pathway of Awareness and the Seven-Year Cycle.” Because an overview of these two perceptual tools is crucially important in creating a context for this practice, and because some of you reading this letter may not have read The Presence Process, we shall briefly review them.
During childhood, it is accepted that we are, for the most part, emotional beings; we are literally “energy spontaneously in motion.”
The Pathway of Awareness
There is a deliberate pathway our awareness travels along to enter our experience of the world we now inhabit. We may call this, “The Pathway of Awareness.” The Pathway of Awareness is most clearly visible in the initial development of a newborn child.
First, the child is an emotional being: It can only emote. Then, it uses its emotions as a means to communicate: It enters mental awareness. Then, it becomes conscious enough to reach out and deliberately grab hold of and maintain physical contact with something or somebody. Even though the child’s emotional, mental, and physical attributes develop simultaneously, there is a systematic pathway its awareness deliberately travels along to enter a full encounter with this world: From emotional to mental to physical.
The Seven-Year Cycle
The Pathway of Awareness from emotional to mental to physical that we travel along as we enter our experience of this world, and continually travel along to enter and manifest our daily experiences, is also clearly recognizable in what we may call “the Seven-Year Cycle.” During the first seven years of our life, we are called “children.” During childhood, it is accepted that we are, for the most part, emotional beings. We are literally “energy spontaneously in motion.” Around the age of 7, we depart childhood and are then called “young boys and girls.” As young boys and girls we enter an educational institution intended to direct our awareness into the mental body. We are taught to read, write, count, and communicate efficiently through a set of prescribed letters and numbers. After another seven years, around the age of 14, we are no longer called boys and girls, we are called “teenagers.” As teenagers, we experience a physiological transformation within our material body which marks an entry into a more physically magnified experience. After another seven years, when we turn 21, we are no longer regarded as teenagers; we are now called “young adults.” We then hold a party to celebrate our entry into adulthood and the completion of this cyclic journey from childhood (emotional) to teenager (mental) to adult (physical).
There are many implications of the Pathway of Awareness and the Seven-Year Cycle on the nature of human behavior in this day and age. However, the only motivation for briefly discussing them here is this: To provide a context for the realization that the emotional body is the causal point of the quality of our experience.
Although, as “adults,” we are physically trance-fixed by our experiences, experiences that we interpret almost entirely through mental concepts that are devoid of any felt perception. The reality remains that our emotional body is the causal point of the quality of all our experiences. What does this mean in simple English? It means that how we feel about something determines how we feel about something, that no matter what the physical circumstances, and no matter what we “think,” if something does not feel right, it does not feel right.
“Feeling” is the causal point of the quality of our experience because it is the causal point the Pathway of Awareness uses to enter our experience of this world. And, whether we are aware of it or not, we continue to use this pathway, from emotional to mental to physical, in every aspect of our manufactured experience. However, because we are devoid of emotional body awareness, we cannot yet perceive the role of the feelings in the manufacture of experience. If we could, we would not be so naïve as to assert that “thought creates.” If thought creates, then, by obvious reasoning, “God is a thought.”
To enable us to grasp this significance, and to clearly see the movement along the Pathway of Awareness that we use for every aspect of our manufactured experience, it is useful to give a tangible example. To accomplish this, let us examine one of our favorite pastimes: The way we buy “stuff.” We all like stuff! We work very hard to obtain lots of stuff and live in a world where one cannot possibly have enough stuff. “Our relationship with stuff” is therefore an appropriate experience to use as a means to demonstrate the energetic flow of the Pathway of Awareness in our daily lives, and the crucial role our emotional body plays within this.
Let’s say a woman sees a dress hanging in a store window that she wants to have. While she is physically trance-fixed by the world, she will tell herself that she wants this dress “because of its appearance” or “because it is beautifully designed” or “because the fabric is so exquisite.” If she is mentally trance-fixed by the world, she will tell herself that she wants it “because of the designer label,” which means she believes she is “guaranteed a product of high quality” and “the status that comes with adorning such a garment.” Yet, neither of these are “the causal reason” why she buys the dress. If her emotional body awareness was awakened, she would know that what initially attracts her to the dress is “the promise of a feeling.” She unconsciously believes that if she purchases this garment and wears it, she will “feel good, happy, sexy, admired, wealthy, and/or successful.”
The intended feeling is the causal point of her attraction to the garment, and the desire for this intended feeling is driven by the current condition of her emotional body. The emotional body is the causal point of the motivation to purchase, whether she is conscious of it or not.
Once she believes the dress can accomplish this intent (this desired emotional state), she then moves obediently along the Pathway of Awareness. She mentally visits the possibility of obtaining the item. She asks herself: “How much does it cost? Can I afford this? Do I pay cash or put it on my credit card? How long will it take me to pay it off ? By purchasing this dress, what will I have to go without that I could have used the money on?” In other words, “Does the asking price of this dress equal the feeling I intend to receive by wearing it?”
The mental body then becomes the corridor which delivers her from “desiring the intended feeling” toward “physically acquiring the stuff intended to make the felt experience possible.” Once the mental body has made all the necessary calculations, if the feeling is still desired and perceived to be worth the expenditure, the dress is physically purchased, taken home, and worn. The woman’s experience has obediently moved from emotional to mental to physical.
Once the transaction is complete and the woman is now wearing the garment, the emotional body remains the causal point of the intended experience. This is evident by the power and consequence of the feedback she receives when wearing it: If her friends give her that look, the that one says, “No honey, that dress does not look good on you at all,” or, if during the course of the evening anything happens that causes her to feel uncomfortable about wearing it, that’s it! It’s all over! She will never wear that dress again. No matter how much she paid for it, if she feels uncomfortable in it, or about it, that dress might as well be thrown into the trash. Why? Because the feeling aspect of her experience is the causal point. This also applies to men buying trucks, children buying toys, and everything we buy to “keep up with the neighbors.” And, for that matter, this includes any experience we enter. Whether we are aware of it or not, we judge the quality of every experience in our life through the lens of felt perception.
Of course, it is not necessary for us to accept that the emotional body is the causal point of the quality of our experience for us to be able to successfully wield the practice in this letter; it is just useful. The intent of sharing all this information before presenting the practice is merely to invite the possibility of the following “opening”: That all we require to successfully navigate the quality of an experience is to be able to predetermine how we are going to feel about it once we have passed through it.
In other words, if we exit any experience feeling wonderful about it, surely this would mean that the content of the completed experience was of a quality that is entirely acceptable to us? Contemplate this for a moment. Read it again and let the realization it invites sink in as deeply as possible.
Surely, if we feel satisfied about an experience at the outcome, we have successfully navigated the experience as a whole. As obvious as this is, to be able to accomplish this is evolutionary. Is it really possible for us to have this level of impact on every aspect of our life experience? Yes, if we choose to navigate our experiences consciously. How? Well, sharing the know-how is exactly what this letter is moving toward.
Now that we have covered some essential groundwork, now that we have a context to draw from, we can enter the nuts and bolts of this simple practice. As my mother and father used to say: “The proof is in the pudding.” In South Africa, pudding is our word for dessert, and dessert is only served at the end of the meal. This applies to the navigation our experiences as well: The proof of the efficiency of this practice is in the outcome of wielding it, not in the debating or analyzing of its parameters.
“Feeling” is the causal point of the quality of our experience because it is the causal point of the pathway our awareness uses to enter our experience of this world.
Like all powerful practices, this procedure is a “not- doing.” In other words, we are not going to add increased activity to our experience, we are only going to bring awareness into the fabric of our current activities. An evolutionary differentiates themselves from a revolutionary in their knowing that only awareness has the power to initiate authentic transformation of our current human experience. A “not-doing” does not mean “no action.” It means “conscious action.” A revolutionary always behaves reactively, and reactive behavior is always unconscious. Even pacifists, who are simply depressed revolutionaries, are being reactionary by “doing nothing,” and are therefore also behaving unconsciously.
“Navigating our human experience” requires raising ourselves above these unconscious reactive frequencies. To accomplish this, we simply bring to bear the insight contained within the Pathway of Awareness, the realization that the inherent movement of energy is from emotional
to mental to physical in the manifestation of all experience. The best way to unwrap this, to demonstrate how this procedure arises out of this insight, is by citing a dramatized example of how I have successfully shared this practice with another. We may think of it as “a case study in experience navigation.”
Case Study: Benny the CEO
Because some of you may assume that what is being offered here is something purely spiritual, or that it may only be useful to and digestible by those interested in spiritual matters, we shall illustrate this procedure using a case study that draws on anything but what spiritual people assume to be spiritual—the navigating of a business meeting by a CEO of a larger corporation. If an individual in the heart of the corporate paradigm can successfully use this practice to enhance a crucial and very intense aspect of their daily experience, this procedure is definitely accessible to those of us who consider ourselves ordinary people dealing with the trials of daily life. The reality is that this practice is accessible to everyone. All it requires is conscious wielding of our intention and attention.
Benny came to me for one-on-one facilitation through the Presence Process a few years ago. When I suggested to him that “planning is dysfunctional behavior,” and that by the time he was finished with his 10-week journey through the Presence Process, he would no longer use a rigid plan to run another business meeting, he was incensed. In fact, it is clear to say he was insulted by these comments. You see, Benny was at that time a CEO of one of the largest communication companies in South Africa. He was also so physically, mentally, and emotionally stressed that he was visibly cracking at the seams.
As I sat and spoke with him, it was clear that aside from going through the Presence Process, he required something to provide immediate relief, or else he was going to literally blow a fuse. I therefore suggested that even though he did not yet have the foundational insight to support the practice, he immediately begin “navigating his experience.” I knew that if he immediately installed this procedure into his life, he would feel a tangible sense of relief. This would then give him the breathing space necessary to gradually attend to his underlying emotional body condition.
To find a point of entry, I asked him what area of his daily working schedule he considered most stressful.
“The meetings with my staff,” he blurted. “I feel like I am drowning in these. I cannot seem to find a way to run them that doesn’t cause animosity among my staff. I feel sick to my stomach every time I have to enter the boardroom, knowing that I am going to walk out as ‘the enemy.’”
“Great,” I replied. “This is easy. Just do as I ask, and in time, as we go through the Presence Process together, it will become clearer to you why we are taking this approach. By then you will have tasted the consequences. This will give you the confidence to apply this navigational technique to every aspect of your life experience.”
Of course, Benny looked at me with disbelief, especially when I told him that this was the last day he would ever be required to “run the meetings,” or to plan and control their moment-by-moment agendas. In his mind, this sounded ludicrous, and if he had anywhere else to turn, I am sure Benny would have gotten up and left. Fortunately, he was desperate; fate had him trapped between a rock and a hard place.
“When is your next big meeting?” I asked.
“I have a very important one in three days,” he replied.
“And, we have to walk out of there having made a decision about a matter that none of my board members can agree on. It’s a mess,” he declared with frustration.
Navigating our human experience” requires raising ourselves above these unconscious reactive frequencies.
“Fantastic,” I replied. “This is exactly the litmus test we require to move you into a new way of being a CEO.” Poor Benny shook his head. I could see he was assuming he now had to “do more stuff” over and above the workload that already clogged his mental body. “Don’t worry,” I smiled. “There is nothing for you to do other than to bring awareness to what is already right in front of you. In fact,” I added, “we will complete the most important aspect of this navigation with the next few minutes.”
At this point, I asked Benny the most important question we can ask ourselves when navigating any experience: “If you had a choice, how would you like to feel in the moment in which the meeting has just completed and you are leaving the boardroom?”
Benny’s face drew a blank, because like most of us, he had never considered this question. Having become a habitually reactive adult, all his attention had been used in the cut-and-paste mode. He only saw the outcome of the scheduled meeting according to his most recent experience of “meetings,” which was itself a cut and paste of the many unpleasant meeting experiences that came before that.
“What do you mean?” he asked with a frown. So, as is necessary whenever I explain this navigational procedure to someone for the first time, I repeated the question, slowly:
“If you had a choice, how would you like to feel in the moment in which the meeting has just completed and you are leaving the boardroom?”
“Uh, um, well I would like to feel good about it…” he said grasping on the surface of things.
“What exactly does ‘good’ mean?” I persevered.
“Well,” he continued, “I would like to feel as if we had come to some successful agreement that suited everyone.”
“Give me some descriptive words that describe how that would make you feel?” I asked.
“Well,” he replied, “maybe a feeling of satisfaction, and of relief, and also of accomplishment.”
“Good,” I said. “Now this is the most important part of this procedure, Benny: I want you to bring those feelings into your awareness right now. Can you do that? Can you allow yourself to feel a mixture of satisfaction, relief, and accomplishment right now?”
He closed his eyes and sat quietly for a moment. “Yes, I can feel it,” he replied.
“Good job. Now, while holding those feelings within your awareness, I want you to project yourself into the moment where you are leaving the boardroom after this intended meeting. Can you project your attention into that place and visually see yourself leaving the boardroom after that meeting?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“Can you see yourself leaving that meeting feeling satisfied, relieved, and accomplished?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“Good, now open your eyes and let it go. This is all you have to do to initiate the navigation of that experience. You do not have to sit and concentrate on it for minutes. You just have to see yourself at the outcome of the experience and overlay it with the feeling you require by feeling that feeling now. Then let go.” Effortlessness comes through effortlessness.
I then asked Benny to again place his attention on the scheduled meeting and tell me how it felt. He reported that a large amount of the anxiety around it, what I call the “emotional charge,” had dissipated.
“This is because you have authentically started taking responsibility for it at the causal point of the quality of that experience,” I explained. “Consequently, a portion of the anxiety related to its unfolding is already neutralized. However,” I smiled, “we must follow through with our navigational practice.”
I explained to Benny that meetings, in general, held core memories for him, memories that were obviously uncomfortable. These memories were definitely tainted by his past history of uncomfortable business meetings, but that they came from a deeper causal point—from imprinted occurrences during the first seven years of his childhood. Benny revealed that his dad had also been a businessman, and he recounted how his father used to talk about the trials and tribulations of his work experiences with his mother over dinner. I told Benny there was a distinct possibility that the energy around these discussions, which he recalled as being very tense at times, was imprinted into his own emotional body. I also explained to him that it didn’t matter where or when the negative imprinting around meetings originated. The only matter worth acknowledging was that he kept on “cutting and pasting” these uncomfortable memories into all his future relationships with his experience of “meetings.”
“Even though we have commenced navigating this particular scheduled meeting,” I explained, “you still have to face the negative emotional charge related to meetings in general that is imprinted within your emotional body. This means that between now and this up-and-coming meeting, you are going to experience states of anxiety whenever your mental body wanders unconsciously toward thoughts about the event. So, this is what I ask you to do: Whenever you feel any anxiety around the scheduled meeting, do not push these uncomfortable feelings away, or try to sedate and control them by distracting yourself. Instead, stop whatever you are doing, and for about a minute or two, give these uncomfortable feelings your full attention—not to change them in any way, but purely to acknowledge their presence within your field of awareness. Then, for about 30 seconds after that, briefly reenter the navigational practice again. See yourself at the outcome of the scheduled meeting and overlay it with the required feeling of relief, satisfaction, and accomplishment by feeling it in that moment. Is this clear?”
Yes,” he said.
“It is important you understand,” I reiterated, “that memories of these past emotional discomforts associated with meetings will arise, and that they do so to be integrated, and that you are to consciously integrate them by allowing them to be, but that after feeling them, you must also respond by overlaying them with your navigated intent. You must respond in this way each time the anxiety surfaces. You can do this wherever you are, no matter what situation you are in, because it is a ‘not-doing’—it is action unfolding internally—so no one even has to know you are doing it.”
“Got it,” he said.
Successful navigation required consciously moving our awareness through the mental and into the physical aspects as well.
I then briefly explained the Pathway of Awareness to Benny so that he understood the natural movement of energy from emotional to mental to physical when we are manifesting an experience. I then pointed out that what we had just completed was “the navigating of his intent,” the causal point. However, successful navigation required consciously moving our awareness through the mental and into the physical aspects as well. To accomplish this, I told him that after completing the emotional body navigations, we then had to initiate mental body clarity.
“To accomplish mental body clarity is simple,” I explained. “There is certain information you must be acquainted with before entering that meeting, and only you know what that is, right?”
“Right,” he replied.
“This information is important, and the word reveals why. Information empowers us to collectively move in formation with each other. If you have not mentally visited all the required information before entering that meeting, then there are places within your meeting experience that you will not be able to move in synch with the others in the boardroom. So, once you have navigated the feeling of the outcome, you must take care of mental body clarity by making sure you are up to date on all the information you require. Once you are up to date, you substantially cut down on the anxiety arising from lack of mental clarity, the feelings that may arise out of not being mentally prepared.”
“I can do that,” he said.
“Right,” I continued. “Then the final step in navigating your experience of this scheduled meeting is accomplishing physical body presence. This, too, is simple: There are certain physical necessities you must take care of to enter that meeting as one who feels physically prepared. For example, from a physical body point of view, have you had enough sleep, exercise, and eaten a nutritious meal? Or, are you overtired, feeling like a slug, and compensating with too much coffee? Because these factors affect your level of presence while you are in the meeting. Also, just as importantly, do you physically have everything you require to facilitate this meeting? Do you have all the documents, files, figures, and contacts at an arm’s reach that you may require to support the meeting’s overall intent? Being physically prepared assists you to feel physically present within the proceedings. Not consciously taking care of this detail causes physical distraction. So, making sure you navigate your experience of physical presence is also crucial.”
We then briefly went through the procedure again. I stressed that the efficiency of this navigational procedure was not determined so much by its parts, as by the sequence in which the navigation preparation unfolded: From emotional, to mental, to physical. I explained that because as adults, we are physically trance-fixed by our world, and that we therefore relate to our physical circumstances almost exclusively from a mental standpoint, we normally prepare for any experience by first making physical adjustments (by trying to move the world around) and then by mentally thinking the experience to death. We do not even consider the emotional component of our intended experience! Also, as we go through this back- to-front approach we call preparation, we unconsciously cut and paste the failures of our past into the potential outcomes of our future. We then wonder why it turns
out the “same as it ever was,” to quote David Byrne of Talking Heads.
Once Benny was clear on the navigational procedure, and on the means to reinforce his emotional body intent whenever anxiety about the meeting crept into the moment, it was time for the final act: How was he to enter and consciously navigate himself through the experience of the actual meeting?
“In the last few hours before, as the actual moment of the meeting draws near,” I began, “you may feel what you may assume is anxiety. This uncomfortable feeling will be as acute as you allow yourself to be distracted.” I explained to Benny that this feeling of anxiety happens to us all as we approach significant events in our life and is purely an indicator of our lack of presence within our emotional body. “This feeling does not mean something is wrong. It means we are being invited to ‘feel as deeply as possible’. This feeling is there as your emotional body’s attempt to pull you into emotional body awareness.” I explained to Benny that the more we consciously anchor ourselves into our heart center before any important event, the less this feeling of anxiety arises within our experience.
“Because you have already prepared everything mentally and physically for the meeting,” I continued, “your only task now is to remain at the causal point of the experience, in the feeling of it—no matter what. Once you enter the boardroom, your only task is to surrender to the energetic flow of the unfolding moment by paying attention to whatever feelings are unfolding within it, without attempting to sedate and control them.”
I explained to Benny that because he had consciously navigated the scheduled meeting, the universe would now conspire to manifest the requested felt outcome to the experience he was entering. However, that unless he understood the following point very clearly, he would inadvertently conspire against the universe’s intent to assist him. The feeling (outcome) he sought to manifest was not going to come out of a situation or circumstance that appeared familiar to him. It would arise from events and circumstances that felt unfamiliar, and therefore uncomfortable.
We are always navigating our experiences. It’s just that we mostly do it unconsciously.
If he entered the meeting with a set mental picture of how it was to unfold, and a precise physical agenda on how to institute this mental assumption, he would invariably sedate and control the meeting to such a point that he would sabotage the possibility of manifesting the felt outcome he had intended. For this reason, he had to enter the meeting and immediately surrender to it. Surrender, in this context, does not mean “to give up.” Its meaning is as the phonetics of the word reveals: To end being sure = sure + ender = surrender. I therefore instructed Benny that once he had officially opened the meeting, he was not to “run it” like he had always done in the past, but instead, he was to get out of the way of its flow. To accomplish this, he had to embrace a brand-new perceptual possibility: That the people sitting around the boardroom table are the universal attributes ready to bring about his intended outcome of satisfaction, relief, and accomplishment.
In other words, he must get out of their way so that this outcome is allowed to surface into reality without interference—without Benny entering fear about what was unfolding. If Benny, as he had already admitted to me, did not know the answer to the quest of the intended meeting, then what was the point of adding more participation on his behalf than was absolutely necessary? He didn’t have to speak up just because he was the CEO. The best stance he could therefore take was to “facilitate the universe (the board members) by getting out of its way.”
I also carefully brought to Benny’s attention that, as the universe conspires to achieve a resolution, its means of accomplishing this would appear sometimes as moments of apparent tension, confusion, chaos, and emotional discomfort.
“When you feel things getting tense—especially if this is happening, for example, because of a heated discussion between two or three people in the meeting—you must not jump in and try to make everything alright, or to stop what is unfolding, or to suggest another way of doing this,” I instructed. “This tension is the unknown factor breaking through in a manner that is unforeseen.” I explained that new order always births out of chaos. To accomplish this, I used the illustration of a woman giving birth. If a stranger, not knowing what was happening, came upon the scene of a woman giving birth, instead of realizing that a child was being born, they may mistakenly assume the woman was dying.
“Therefore,” I advised, “when you experience this birthing process within the meeting, you must allow it, and honor it, as a neutral observer and facilitator allowing a process to unfold, not as a referee taking sides by breaking up a perceived fight. Your task is to be there, and this is the biggest secret, to remain with your attention on the feeling of whatever is unfolding in each moment, no matter how unfamiliar or uncomfortable the feeling is.” I explained carefully to Benny that the feeling of the meeting, no matter how he perceived it to be, is what will carry them all into the felt outcome he has intended. “Stay with the feeling no matter what, without interfering with it,” I advised him, “and it will deliver you into the miracle.”
Three evenings later, I received a phone call from Benny. There was a strange tone of disbelief, yet awe, in his voice.
“It was a success,” he told me. “I did exactly as you instructed. It wasn’t at all easy to do, that I can tell you. I let the board members play it out among themselves. At times it got very tense, but I remembered what you said about staying with the feeling and not interfering. I remained
a witness, no matter how much I wanted to impose my authority or add my opinion. I realized I personally had no solution to offer going into the meeting, and so my job was purely to listen for and identify one, rather than to impose one.” Then he became quieter. “The biggest thing wasn’t that we had a successful meeting, and that we reached a resolution agreeable to us all,” he said in an emotional tone, “it was that afterward I received phone calls and emails from some of the board members thanking me for allowing them to fully participate in the proceedings. They said I ran a very successful meeting, and yet it was the first time I went into the boardroom and did nothing!”
“Thank you,” he said. “I am still amazed at how this works. Does this navigating work for everything?”
“Yes, everything. That’s the funny thing,” I said. “We are always navigating our experiences. It’s just that we mostly do it unconsciously. When we navigate unconsciously, we always get the fruits of our fears, not what we really seek. This is because we are always using the emotional body as the causal point. We are just using it unconsciously and fearfully.”
“Well,” he said, “I now know a different way.”
The following is a useful checklist when choosing to consciously navigate our experiences. It can be used for long distance travel, for conflict resolution, for writing a book, anything! And, as my parents used to say, “The proof is in the pudding.”
By way of reinforcing the procedure, the writing following each point illustrates how I use this to navigate an experience like a flight from New York to South Africa. Long flights may be challenging, especially if we do not take the time to navigate our experience of them. This is how I apply this technique as a means to arrive in South Africa feeling refreshed, relaxed, and having enjoyed the experience.
We determine exactly how would we like to feel at the outcome of the experience we are navigating. We must be able to feel this feeling now. In navigating my flight from New York to South Africa, I consciously choose to feel refreshed, relaxed, and grateful for an enjoyable experience. To assist me to bring these feelings into “the now,” I remember the last time I experienced these feelings, and consciously bring a recollection of them into this moment.
We then place our attention upon that envisaged moment by clearly seeing ourselves at the point of the outcome. We overlay this image with this feeling by feeling it now, as we see ourselves within this outcome. I see myself stepping off the plane and walking into Oliver Tambo International Airport feeling refreshed, relaxed, and grateful for having had an enjoyable experience. I feel these feelings now as I picture myself within this image.
We ensure we are acquainted with all the information required for achieving mental clarity. I make sure I have all the flight details in hand—the departure time, check-in time, what terminal I must arrive at in New York— and am clear on how I am going to get there. I also make sure my transport will get me to the airport early so that I have plenty of time to check in, go through security, relax, and have a meal before boarding.
We ensure we are physically prepared and have all the physical circumstances in place required by the experience we are entering. I make sure I am packed and that my luggage is within the allotted weight. I ensure I have my ticket, passport, and enough money to have a good meal before boarding. I also make sure I have my homeopathic jet-lag tabs, a good book, and a carry-on cushion to enable a comfortable nap.
As we approach the experience, we may feel moments of anxiety arise triggered by past memories. We allow ourselves to feel this anxiety for a few moments, then we repeat step 2. If at any time I feel nervous or anxious about my flight, I allow myself to sit with these feelings, I acknowledge their presence within my field. I then gently overlay this experience with the picture of myself stepping off the plane in South Africa feeling relaxed, refreshed, and having enjoyed my flight experience.
As we approach the moment of entry into the navigated experience, we place our full attention upon what we are feeling—especially if it is uncomfortable. This pre-experience feeling is designed to ground us into the heart of the experience. As I am preparing to board the plane, I check in with myself and pay attention to how I am feeling. I literally place my attention within the physical body location of my heart center and hold it there as I board and situate myself within the flight cabin. No matter what feelings arise, I allow them.
We surrender to the experience knowing that what unfolds to carry us successfully to our intended felt outcome will come from “what we do not know.” If, while still in the airport, I hear that the flight has been delayed, I surrender to this. I accept this as the universe’s way of rearranging circumstances to manifest my requested felt outcome. I do not have to understand why events are unfolding as they are to know that they are always unfolding in my favor. This is because I have navigated the causal point. Even if I find myself seated next to someone I would normally not appreciate being next to for 18 hours, I do not fight it. No matter what discomfort arises, I sit consciously within it, trusting that this is the universe’s method of facilitating my intent.
When circumstances become unfamiliar, even tense, we do not attempt to sedate and control them, or to steer them any other way. I was once on a flight that I had navigated in which a baby struggled with earache because of cabin pressure. I could not see how a screaming baby could be part of my intention. However, I gave the universe the benefit of the doubt. Instead of emotionally and audibly repelling the experience, I put down my reading and set aside my desire for quiet and rest, and allowed myself to fully embrace the experience. I gently connected my breathing and put my full attention on the child’s voice. For the next few hours I was transported through a primal cleansing experience that enabled me to revisit aspects of my own childhood I had no idea were calling for attention. I went through a liberating experience that saw me bouncing off the plane on the other side like I had let go of years of emotional baggage. What a gift! However, I also noted how people around me fought the experience, and as we landed, I saw how tormented they were by their experience of the flight. They had obviously not navigated anything.
Throughout the duration of the experience, we place our attention on the felt content of the experience. This is the energetic current that carries us to our intended felt outcome. Throughout the flight, I consistently ask myself, “How I am feeling?” not as a means to feel a certain way, but purely as a means to consciously acknowledge what is unfolding in my heart in any given moment.
This procedure may be used for navigating any and all experiences. The more we apply it, the more confident we become in our ability to facilitate a favorable felt outcome. Remember, we can ask for any feeling we want, and we can have this, as long as we enter a co-creative relationship with the universe—as long as we surrender to the experience once we enter it.
This technique is not about “asking for stuff” or the manifesting of specific mental details. We will be bedeviled when we use details as a means to dictate the exact parameters of our experiences, and asking for stuff only soothes our insatiable need and wants. This procedure has nothing to do with “creating what is not happening as a means to sedate and control the reality of what is.” This procedure is about acknowledging the following realization:
When we authentically feel at peace about the outcome of any experience, the details of how that experience unfolded to deliver us to that point of authentic peace are irrelevant.
It is how we feel about an experience that determines how we feel about an experience. This is an obvious truth that gets lost amid our “desperate thinking” and “endless physical doings.” By consciously navigating our felt perception in this manner, not only do we arrive at a favorable outcome, but we also arrive there by inviting the universe to become a co-creative participant in our every experience. This procedure empowers us to open ourselves to the portal of unlimited probabilities and possibilities. Then, when people ask us, “How did you do that?” we can honestly reply: “God is how.” What a relief!
Months after finishing his sessions with me, Benny phoned for a chat. He said he was no longer CEO of that company. He had now started his own business and was focusing on quality instead of quantity.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he said, “I am still making lots of money; I’m just going about it differently. It’s not stressful now, it’s enjoyable.”
He then told me how he had installed the navigational procedure into the way he manages his overall business intent. “At the beginning of each month, I have a general staff meeting,” he explained. “I actually call it our ‘monthly navigation meeting.’ What I do is first ask my staff to tell me how they want to feel about their working experience at the end of the month we are entering.”
“At first,” he chuckled, “when I asked them this question, they looked at me with blank faces. No one had ever asked them that in a boardroom before. Once they come up with their answers, I ask them to feel that way in the moment, and if they cannot, to bring a memory of feeling that way from their past and into the present. The first few times I did this, I said to them, ‘I know it sounds strange, but just humor me.’”
“I then ask them what information we individually require to accomplish another successful month together. Once everyone has submitted their input, I then ask them what physical action we are required to take to move in that direction. “I always make sure we move through our meetings in this order—from feeling, to information, to practical, physical tasks. Then, throughout the month, we meet every Monday morning, and before commencing with the week’s agenda, we take a moment to briefly read over the minutes of this navigational meeting as a way of reinforcing our collective intent. At one point,” he chuckled again, “someone asked me if I was studying some sort of motivational business course. I said, ‘No, I am just taking responsibility for the quality of our working environment.’”
As a consequence of this approach, my staff now always makes a point of focusing on what we seek to feel at the outcome of any project we enter. I don’t think they even know why we do this—they just enjoy their jobs, the office environment, and the success we are all experiencing as a team, and so they accept my methods in accomplishing this.”
“This is wonderful, Benny,” I said. “Thank you for sharing this feedback with me.”
“Michael,” he asked. “Have you ever considered sharing this procedure with more people in the corporate environment?”
“Yes,” I replied. “I have.”