Gentzy Franz and Lola Wright continue our July Series “Disrupting the Unconscious” in this conversation titled “Accepting Your Unenlightened Self”.
This “talk” is electronically transcribed. Please excuse any errors or omissions.
Lola: So I woke up this morning, and sometimes I like to watch a little bit of the news to see what the drama patterns are, that are going on. And I did that this morning, and this really brilliant infomercial came on. And I cannot remember what this product is called. But it is basically this umbrella that does not close in the traditional way, but actually it goes like this. So you know that moment when you get in a car, and it’s raining. And it’s super awkward. And you can get angry at the rain. Get angry at the umbrella, because there’s not a smooth way to disassemble. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Lola: Someone in that moment decided rather than getting angry and upset about the drama about the rain and the umbrella, that they would come up with a, it’s called like, a Brella Brella. Something like that. And I was watching this commercial this morning, I had the thought, that is exactly what we’re talking about this morning. That in every moment, there’s a way that we can be in relationship to the circumstances and conditions. We can be like, ooh, this umbrella! Ooh, this rain! And really be at the affect of the circumstances and conditions.
Lola: Or, you can go, this discontented experience is a moment for me to strike it big. And I too could create a Brella Brella. Do you see what I’m saying? These are just ways of being that we develop greater facility in. How could I be in response to circumstances and conditions. The thing that we’re going to talk about this morning is this notion that most of humanity lives in an unconscious fear based triggered and reactive state most of the time. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Lola: Where the suffering begins is the unwillingness to accept that that’s where you are. See, the shift that occurred for the Brella Brella guy or gal, or being, is they didn’t get camped out in the experience. They allowed themself to be like, no, this really is an injustice to humanity. This really is a problem worthy of solution. And I think I can come up with that. Awesome, thank God for you.
Lola: So there was this thing called the drama triangle that we’ve talked somewhat about, and while I set this up, would you be willing to break it down for people? Go ahead.
Gentzy: So like Lola said, at any given time in most of our lives and most times, we find ourselves in this state. And I want to just pause real quick, and talk a little bit about why. Why this is helpful. We’re all here. Actually, give yourself a round of applause just for being alive. Everybody! Just, I mean, you may be a little melty right now. You may have lower back sweat or eyebrow sweat or whatever Lola said she has-
Lola: Full face.
Gentzy: Full face sweat. Don’t lose an eyebrow, please!
Lola: Glasses are like the double. If I do, you won’t know.
Gentzy: I can’t see a thing.
Gentzy: It’s not draining yet from-
Lola: No red drizzle.
Gentzy: From the back of your [inaudible]
Gentzy: The drama triangle, and being in this state actually keeps us alive, and has kept us alive for millions of years. It’s actually how our brains started to form to keep us alive. We’d be out there on the planes, and without having a lot of tools or anything else, we had these brains that started to detect things out there on the horizon, and without having to gather all of the information, we were able to say saber tooth tiger, run. State of threat, I want to survive. And not only do I want to survive, I want to keep my loved ones safe.
Gentzy: And so I’m going to respond in a way to this saber tooth tiger because if I wait for the saber tooth tiger to get too close, and feel the teeth of the tiger, guess what? You’re dead. You’re dead! And so we develop these brains that got hyperactive and really good at detecting threat. Thank Gods. Here we are. And so our brains, still in this hyper aware state, continue to look out on the horizon, and we don’t find saber tooth tigers all that often anymore. But we do find threat. And most of the time, it’s not threat to physical conditions, it’s threat to ego. We’ve replaced all of the physical security that we need. Because most of the time, most of us, we have that. And yet we still have something to protect because our mind is saying, we are still under threat. Does this make sense?
Gentzy: And so it makes sense that we would be in these conditions. It would make sense that we would step here in villain, and say something did not go exactly as planned, and someone’s to blame. I have lower back sweat right now. Who is responsible for it?
Lola: How’d I get roped into this thing?
Gentzy: Yeah, you’re going to get roped in a lot over the next 20 minutes. Someone has to be responsible for this. Not only because it feels kind of good to blame – everybody likes to blame a little bit. It also helps us put some pieces together, so that I never have lower back sweat again. Because I hate it. Swampy.
Lola: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Gentzy: Or we step over here, and this is our favorite spot on the drama triangle .we get hero-y, and we can deceive ourselves that we’re not in drama when we are playing the hero. We can look out on the horizon, we can say, I could save the day. I could see what’s wrong, and I can fix it. I can fix it. I can fix it. I can fix it. I can fix it. But guess what every hero needs? Every hero needs a victim. Everybody knows this. Good class. Every hero needs a victim. And we are saying in that moment, I am saying in that moment, someone needs me. Someone’s not okay. Someone’s condition is so hard, is so drastic, so severe, so serious, that only I can help them. And this person is weak. They are disempowered. They are unable to take control of their own circumstances, and they become smaller and smaller and smaller in our eyes, as we become bigger and bigger and bigger.
Gentzy: But not really. Because that cycle is just going to continue, is just going to continue, as long as we are not consciously aware that we are just moving around the drama triangle. Pulling everyone and everything into it with us so we can continual the racket of survival.
Lola: So this whole thin happens in an unconscious state. It is when we are triggered and reactive. It can be at levels that are subtle. It can be at levels that are significant. Now, if we’re to just look at this in a binary context, the alternative is to live in a state of presence. By the way, that doesn’t mean that fear is not there. There’s a distinction between experiencing fear consciously and being taken out by fear. So I want to create this context, just so we’re aware of it. What it looks like to live from presence.
Lola: So the victim becomes the creator. We begin to wake up to the fact that circumstances and conditions are not happening to us, that we actually could create an alternative reality because we are these channels of infinite possibility. Okay? The villain shows up as challenger. Disrupting thought patterns that are not of highest service to ourselves and others. Healthy challenger energy.
Lola: Coach is what the hero becomes. Actually able to make a contribution outside of codependence. So do you want to say anything else about that?
Gentzy: No, other than we’re not going to get there too quickly.
Lola: No. And the thing here is we want to get there because we think it’s the better place to be. So we want to get out of this drama pattern, and we want to get into what we think is the enlightened state. But as you’ve heard us say here many times before, and you’ve heard Jim say himself, you cannot shift what you cannot accept.
Lola: So if you cannot completely accept yourself for being in an unconscious fear based triggered and reactive pattern, you actually have no ability to ever get outside of it. It’s paradox. To surrender to your most unenlightened state. That is antithetical to most spiritual communities’ theological, philosophical underpinnings. And that’s what we’re inviting you, us, into.
Lola: So. Gentzy and I have spent the last year in this group that meets monthly. And it’s a group of people that practice this with a level of devotion and rigor that upsets a lot of stuff that’s moving through the being. And we would meet once a month at Fourth Presbyterian Church. So you know where that is? It’s basically like 900 North Michigan Avenue. I live in Oak Park. You know, there’s planning that requires to get from one destination to another, yeah? And then, I have four kids. You know, there are all these things. Right? And I’m very fastidious about time. You should know that. Yeah. They’re shocked.
Lola: So this particular morning, I decided it would be more efficient for me to take a Lyft than to drive myself. More cost efficient and more time efficient. I could avoid the parking situation. I get the little ding, ding! On our way. And it’s a Lincoln Town Car. And I was like, I just hit the lottery. I got the special category, you know? Without paying for that. It was like, I love when that happens!
Lola: He pulls up. I get in. I’m like, this is going to be delicious. We get on to the Eisenhower. It’s rush hour. And I’m hearing this kind of sound in the car. And it sounds disconcerting to me. And I was like, you know, just let it be. This is not your car. Breathe through it. We’re in bumper to bumper traffic. And I said, “Sir. I am feeling concerned because I’m hearing this noise in the back of your car. Are you familiar with this?”
Lola: And he said, “Yeah. I don’t know that I have enough gas.” And I was like, “You have got to be kidding me. This can not be happening right now.” And he’s like, “I think we’re going to make it.” And I’m like, in my mind, I’m thinking, I have a commitment to be on time. This is how I live my life. And now I am on the Eisenhower, in bumper to bumper traffic. It was going to be right on the nose to begin with, and now we have this situation. And I just imagined myself being stuck in a car that runs out of gas on the Eisenhower in rush hour.
Lola: So I’m thinking, should I call my husband? That’s not going to be helpful. So I just said the only thing I had access to in that moment. Which is, “Sir, I don’t think this is a good business strategy.” And I was just like, breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe. We did get to Fourth Presbyterian Church. And the entire time I’m doing my practice, right?
Lola: I’m like, you’re such an entitled jerk. Like, what if this guy actually can’t afford to put gas in his tank? And all you can think about is getting to your thing on time? And then I’m like, well, you know, but we have to get ourselves together. You know, I’m going through all of these. Right? What in the world is this person’s problem? They need to get themselves together. You know what? Be gracious. Be great with them. Trust that all is well. Life is unfolding exactly as it needs to. All in divine order.
Lola: I cannot with this! I cannot with this! Yes, I’m like breathing through all of this, and I arrive to our group. We always start with meditation. I, of course, was 20 minutes late. Which pushes all my buttons. And after the meditation, I said, “I am not present. I need to move some energy.” And I got on the drama triangle, as our practice calls, and I just said all the things.
Lola: What is wrong, you know, I really went in. You can imagine. Yeah? And actually it was a great service to me because I had a big release of energy, and I really saw ultimately what was running me was a deep and profound fear of getting in trouble for being late. Yeah? So we’re navigating these things all the time. And then what happened?
Gentzy: Meanwhile, over here on Planet Gentzy, Lola comes in, she does her drama triangle thing. I sit there. Yeah, yeah, she’s really doing her work. I can see this. I can see that she’s open to all kinds of different perspectives on the situation that just occurred.
Gentzy: Fine, I’m fine. I even tried to bypass and come up here to the point of seeing Lola as someone who was claiming personal power and congratulating her inside. Meanwhile, as I actually checked in I was becoming furious with her. She gets done with her thing. I’m sitting there. No, it’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine. The song at the beginning. It’s fine. My favorite bypass. That’s not what the song… The song is actually about I’m fine with who I am. Who I am. But there’s also a way we bypass, and go, it’s fine, it’s fine. Everything’s fine. When it’s not fine at all.
Gentzy: And I’m sitting there going, how in the world am I feeling this way about Lola while she’s doing her work? Up here intellectually, I knew this is what we do. Of course, she’s just doing it. Yet, right here… So I asked, may I have a turn on the drama triangle? And I stepped up. And I said, “How in the world…”
Gentzy: I’m going to do this again. Because it felt so good the first time. How in the world can you stand in front of a group of people every Sunday as a spiritual leader, empowering them to be their best selves, empowering them to see the world as this abundant place. Meanwhile, you’ve got this poor guy about ready to run out of gas. Hustling. Probably trying his very best to make the world an abundant place. Meanwhile, you’re getting all bent out of shape because it’s slightly inconvenient for you.
Lola: Now, watch your tendency to get seduced by the story. If you’re seduced at the level of story, content versus context, you can rest assured you’re in your own unconscious fear based drama pattern. Got it?
Gentzy: So common to do because I’m going to be real compelling here.
Lola: Yeah. I mean, few more compelling humans than you and I on the drama triangle.
Gentzy: It’s real convincing. I could convince you that she’s a terrible human being right now. I’m going to try. Meanwhile, I’m going to show you I’m a terrible human being, and that’s also okay.
Gentzy: You don’t get to feel this way. You do not get to feel this way. Oh. Lola does so much for so many people. All she wanted to do was arrive on time. That’s all she wanted to do. Poor Lola! This isn’t that big of a deal. Can’t we give her this bone? Could the universe not throw her this bone, and just allow her to arrive on time, and not give her this terrible Uber driver?
Gentzy: The Uber driver. Have you forgotten what he looks like? What happens when he shows up on Sunday because he hears about it, and he’s sitting out there, and he sees you up here, and he’s saying, “She sucked! I gave her one star! She gave me two!” You do not get to feel this way. You do not get to feel this way.
Gentzy: The gift for me in all of this was I don’t get to feel this way. I don’t get to live in a life of contradiction where I can be angry, upset, feel feelings that I would call negative or dark, and still have a place where I can hold space. Where I can be this person’s friend. Where I can support this individual. There is no allowance inside for me to have any type of contradiction. This is not a place I get to live. I get to live there.
Gentzy: The gift in that moment of actually being in a drama triangle, and in this moment, tons of gratitude coming up, of having a friend like this that can play with me. Hold space while I do this. Allow me to really settle in and get all of the lessons that I actually need to get, as opposed to just coming up here, and saying, lessons learned! I’m good! No, no, no, no, no. Right here is where the lesson was. Right here in the muck, in the ick. This is where the lesson was.
Lola: And I would say specifically for you, tell me if this accurate. But given your devotional relationship as a spiritual leader in the Mormon tradition. That you unraveled five years ago, the fact that I am someone who walks on the planet as a quote, unquote spiritual leader was a perfect confrontation. Because you don’t give yourself permission. And that’s the thing about spiritual communities, is we have it, like this shouldn’t happen here. It’s a disowned, unowned rejected part of the self that actually needs attention.
Lola: Would it be okay to have unconscious aspects of your being that you bring into greater self awareness? When we circumvent this… See the challenge is, and I said this earlier, but when you keep avoiding a conscious exploration of your unconscious parts… A conscious exploration of your unconscious parts. When you avoid that, and you just jump to what is known as spiritual bypass, you actually deepen the unconscious, unenlightened parts.
Lola: So it seems like it makes sense, but it actually keeps the whole game going. So just take a breath, if you would. Close your eyes for a moment. Because the practice here is always to map this onto your life. What is a way that I avoid my unconscious parts, my unenlightened self, because I am attached to feeling good? Or the myth of feeling good?
Lola: Just see if there’s a place or a space, a pattern, a relationship, an area of life that you avoid, feeling your most unconscious self, in order to bypass it and get to the feel good stuff. Just take a breath, and when you’re ready, open your eyes.
Gentzy: And to take it out of the self, for just a moment. Because in community, there are lots of selves. People sitting right next to you. People up on this stage. When we are unwilling to sit with the uncomfortable parts of ourselves, we are radically unwilling with the uncomfortable parts of other people. This is actually at the heart of why we are so hard on our leaders. We assume that they have done something magical to reside up here all the time. This is the expectation, this is the standard. This is why Lola does not get to complain about the Uber driver, in my world. And nor do I.
Gentzy: And to sit in this, to accept, I’m here. A lot of the time. And I can accept myself here. And when this person that I respect deeply, that I follow, who’s words I trust, when they come down here as well, I’m going to accept that as well.
Gentzy: Now, this isn’t to say turn a blind eye to people when they’re shitty. At all. This is a much different construct. And honestly, this is way more common. And we’re going to have way more time and chances, opportunities, to deal with people in this space. And it starts with us.
Gentzy: This is what I actually love about the journey of consciousness. In the beginning, it felt very indulgent to me. Me, me, me, me, me. Me, me, me, me, my head, my feelings, feelings, feelings, feelings. And the reality is as we get more in touch here and here we are way more willing to get in touch there. And that is the beauty of community. That’s the beauty of community.
Lola: Yeah, I feel like for me, I give myself lots of permission to play in the conscious practice of the unconscious. That’s very intentional for me. If I can keep loving myself through practicing and noticing my unconscious patterns they loosen. And they don’t take me out. When you don’t develop an intimate relationship with your unconscious patterns, it becomes tragic when other people see them. You know? It’s like, oh, God, I can’t have someone see that! I work so hard to keep that buttoned up. It’s too much.
Lola: And I just want to continue to extend grace to the unconscious. To the unenlightened self. You know, this particular practice is only done in no more than two minute increments. Because as with any practice, you can weaponize this. And all of a sudden, you’re living in a perpetual drama cycle, and calling it a conscious practice becoming aware of the unconscious. I see it all the time. That’s not what I’m talking about.
Lola: Get it, move it, and keep it moving. Like, move the energy, and then what? Move the energy, and then what? But if you try to jump over it, and get to the good feeling… You know this week I got an email from Jim Dethmar’s partner, Diana Chapman, who’s one of the coauthors of the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership. And she said, I’m observing a lot of the work that some of your conscious leadership program students are doing. And the very consistent thing that I’m noticing is this thing called spirit polarizing, where there’s a repeated unwillingness to sit in the unenlightened state, and a desire to quickly, quickly, quickly get to the good stuff.
Lola: So I want to keep talking about that. Because if there’s anything that I think, hopefully I’m a contribution for, is the willingness to be with my unenlightened self. I’m very willing to do that. So is there anything else that you want to add about that?
Gentzy: No. I want to reinforce this idea of the spiritual bypass, which is what Lola just described, as a quick fix Bandaid. It’s going to be there. It’s going to feel good for a little bit. It’s going to cover up all the ick that was down here. And it’s just going to keep occurring. This thing that triggered me when Lola took the Uber. What was that? That was a lack of acceptance. My own awareness that I’m not allowing that in myself. This is unacceptable. That is the gift of being here. Other people walking around are just mirrors for us. That’s all they are.
Gentzy: And if we try to pretty up what we see in the mirror too quickly, we’re going to miss all the things that are there. Go there, and it’s just going to keep coming back. We’re going to keep getting pulled back time and time again. And so it’s not so much of a suffer. The suffer. Suffering’s the answer. Probably lots of us that know about that. Like, I know how to suffer. There’s growth in the suffering. Even that’s a bypass.
Gentzy: But there is a way to feel it, to move it, and then to actually start making steps after acceptance to then real, real transformation. Which is, that’s what we’re after. Like, it’s not quick fix. It’s not quick fix.
Lola: No. Yeah. The tendency to want to get somewhere quickly is actually the trap. I mean, it’s the day in and day out. Like, an Olympic athlete doesn’t work out once and think they got it. It’s a daily commitment to practice. So I feel like I’d like to go into a meditation.
Gentzy: Can I make one more point real quick. I just have this really just terrific thought.
Lola: I mean, you’re terrific.
Gentzy: I’m going to hero this entire audience with this thought because it’s so good. If you think, I started out by saying nothing wrong with being in the drama triangle. In fact, it played a significant role, not a significant role, the defining role in allowing us to evolve and be alive. If we had skipped over this ability to detect threat. To see there were these things out there on the horizon, and then make sense of them. And then flee. We would not have evolved as a human species. So the parallel for me is we do not evolve as individuals without giving time down here as well. At some point, enlightenment. Yes!
Gentzy: And it’s already here, and this is a part of it. And just allowing this to do its thing, just like it did with our ancestors who had no verbal skills. Before they had the ability to lock in here and make sense of the world. Accept themselves, see the value in it, and then move on to higher levels of reasoning, higher levels of logic and thought, community building. But it wasn’t until pre-verbally they figured this out, sat in it, and got the gifts.
Lola: Yeah, I mean there is an evolutionary impulse to existence. Life doesn’t stay stagnant. There’s always the opportunity to work with this field of consciousness that is growing, expanding, moving, and changing. So that’s the invitation.