In the AAIT Immersive Learning Group, we've been talking about the role of collaborative agreement in AAIT. A foundational component of AAIT is the commitment to collaborative agreement. I thought I'd share a bit of that discussion with you.
There are two aspects to collaborative agreement. The first is the awareness of with whom we are collaborating; the real self of our client rather than the conditioned self. The real self is a being unencumbered by the limitations associated with a narrative.
Working from this stance is a deep form of respect. As we hold the awareness that we are working on behalf of our clients’ real self rather than their conditioned self, it is incumbent upon us not to treat them like victims in our perception or in the way we interact with them.
A commitment to working from this stance informs a steady invitation to our clients that they embrace self responsibility. Taking responsibility for and tending to the inner state is the source of our freedom, freedom from old ways of being, thinking and feeling, freedom to manifest desires with greater ease of being.
It involves inviting clients into increased awareness of self responsibility in thoughts, words, and deeds. This increased awareness begins to reveal choice points instead of our choices remaining cloudhidden by charged reactive emotional and mental energy. It involves bringing awareness to the language they are using to describe their experience. It involves inviting them into more self responsible language.
Joe was angry that his wife continued to bring up an issue he thought was resolved. The way he talked about it was infused with “should,” “you,” and “always” language.
Joe – “Susan does this all the time. She should have just told me at the time she was still upset. You just can’t read someone’s mind! Of course you get mad about stuff like that!”
Practitioner – “Just for a moment, experiment with saying “I get mad about stuff like that. I can’t read her mind. And that's where it's at and that's ok”
Joe – “I get mad when Susan brings up an issue I think is resolved. That's where it's at and that's ok”
Practitioner– “How does that sit with you compared to saying ‘you get mad…’?”
Joe – "Saying 'I" slows me down and reminds me I am the one in charge of me."
We took a similar tack with the “should” and “always” globalizations. In this short exchange, Joe began to accept that he was angry and take responsibility for that anger.
In just a few minutes, Joe was back on track. When I asked what he would like to focus on and change in that session, he was ready to collaborate on a piece of integration work regarding his automatic reactivity to Susan bringing up an issue more than once. He now saw his irritation as HIS problem, not hers. In this situation, we used Deep PEAT 4, a reliable tool for integrating charged relationship tension. Switching points of view to Susan’s perspective, Joe discovered a real compassion for her need to feel heard and understood.
The following session, Joe reported feeling much more patient and less irritable. Though he continues to shift from vague and blaming language to language infused with self responsibility, it’s happening. He’s making great strides. This awareness of language choices is elevating his awareness of when he is blaming, projecting or otherwise abdicating responsibility.
The invitation into expanded self responsibility is embedded in the process of AAIT. It is guided by the respect and clarity. For instance, as an AAIT practitioner directs client awareness to the specific impact of the work from the previous session, the client moves towards greater self responsibility as they see and acknowledge that THEY changed and that change had impact. OR, they discover that there is a bit more work to do. Either way, they have clarity and a growing sense of the freedom that comes from taking full responsibility for oneself. That is the beginning of shifting identification from the false conditioned self to the real self. THIS is why it is of value to our clients to hold the awareness that we are collaborating with the real self.
With Joe we can see both the subtle influence of pointing to empowered language which supports the real self and challenges the conditioned self along creating a specific contract for change. Stay tuned to part two, contracting for change.