IFS practice group this Saturday (Nov 5): Make friends with the voices in your head!

It’s been a while since I’ve hosted an official gathering, but I’ve been practicing hard, and I keep getting inquiries, so it must be about time.

The exact time is this Saturday, November 5th from 3:00pm-6:00pm.

And, even better, Shannon has been doing intensive (averaging multiple hours a day!) IFS training with me, so the facilitator to newbie ratio just went up. More individualized attention for you!

Our practice group will meet at our very own secret lair, Skullcrusher Household, complete with painted monkey-pony monster. (What’s with all the screaming???) We’re at Tortuga in Mountain View, CA. Email me for the exact address.


When you get here, you’ll see a blue garage door with a turtle on it. Go up the stairs to the left, admire Shannon’s monkey-pony monster by the door, and come right in!

You should join us if:

  • You find yourself thinking, “Part of me wants X, but part of me wants Y”
  • You feel stuck because it seems as though you’re being pulled in multiple directions at the same time
  • You’re sure about what you should do, but you “just can’t” get yourself to act
  • You see yourself acting out the same destructive pattern over and over again (i.e. lying awake at night worrying intsead of going to sleep)
  • You want to overcome emotional blocks to becoming the sort of person you want to be (see item #4 from Alicorn’s polyhacking post)

Suffering happens when you you’re fighting with yourself. For a more detailed description, I’d recommend Kaj’s Less Wrong post, Suffering as attentional allocation conflict. And that means that by turning your attention to each voice in turn and hearing it out, so that it’s fully and clearly communicated what it needs you to know, you can reliably resolve suffering.

I can’t fix all your internal conflicts in one afternoon—though I keep reading, learning, and practicing to get better and faster because I have A Sense That More is Possible—but I can promise some movement for you on an area where you currently feel stuck. You may not have it all worked out, but you will have a sense that something inside you has relaxed or loosened, and that you have increased clarity.

I know most everyone on this list, and I know you’re all excellent at intellectual understanding and analysis, but research has shown that the greastest change comes when people are in a high experiencing level state. Read this excerpt to see what I mean:

It’s almost like … it kind of feels like … sitting here looking through a photo album. And, like each picture of me in there is one of my achievements. And, I think [inaud] because I wasn’t achieving for me. I was always achieving for … someone else so they’d think I was good enough. It’s like it feels right to me to say … that … I don’t know quite how to say it … It’s like the feeling is there, but l can’t quite put words on it. It feels right somehow to say it’s like I’ve chosen this man as my challenge … knowing that I’d be defeated. That this person wouldn’t respond to me in the same way. So that I could kind of buy right back into the photo album being flipped through. I didn’t have what it took (T: Uhhum) to get what I wanted. Which is kind of…

Anyone who has meditated knows how mind-altering observing yourself (thoughts, feelings, sense of self) can be, and with my own personal growth work I have come to trust Bill Harris’s assertion that:

You can do something destructive to yourself (feelings, beliefs, values, behaviors, etc.) over and over as long as you do it unconsciously (without continuous conscious awareness). But once you begin to do the non-resourceful feeling, behavior, belief, value, etc. consciously, it will begin to fall away. You just cannot do something that is not good for you and also do it consciously.

Give me three hours of your time, and I’ll get you into a high experiencing level state, exactly where you need to be to introspect in a way that produces immediate behavioral change in yourself.

On Saturday, I will give everyone walkthrough handouts about how to lead an IFS process, and I’ll circulate, stepping in whenever anyone gets stuck. Aside from me, we’ll also have:

Will Ryan:

former leader of the fabled New York Less Wrong Meetup Group, an experienced facilitator who has staffed multiple weekends for The Mankind Project and completed Shadow Work Seminars training


Shannon Friedman:

an accredited Coactive Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI). She has completed the CTI fundamental training, gotten certificatied, and assisted training workshops, and is currently participating in their leadership training program.

Qualifications aside, we’re all personal-growth junkies who have spent many hours and weeks trying out out tons of stuff and sifting through it, so you can get the good stuff pre-filtered, without having to search and research yourself.

(Incidentally, I learned about IFS from Steve Omohundro, an even more experienced personal-growth junkie, who recommended it as one of the most effective methods he had come across.)

If you want more details about IFS works so you can make see how it will work for you and, check out this description from Jay Earley, author of Self Therapy.

It matters to me to give everyone who attends the best experience, so once you know that you’re coming, please email me and let me know whether you’re coming to mostly work on your own issues and get movement there, or whether you want to learn how to use IFS skills on your own too. Knowing what your motivations are will help me meet your needs.

Suggested donation is $15-40, but don’t let price be the reason you shy away from coming. Come, try it, see what value you get out of it, and then decide how much to pay. Where else can you get get hours of one-on-one work supervised by experienced facilitators for this price?

RSVP to divia@meaningandmagic.com.

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