experiential_finalIt seems as if it has been forever since I’ve posted! Moving forward I will post weekly at a minimum, even if the posts are shorter in comparison to some of my early posts!

If you follow my Facebook page, you may have seen a few recent posts about the movie ‘The People v The State of Illusion written by Austin Vickers. I took the opportunity to attend a viewing of the movie in Mesa at the Holistic Convention. Afterwards, Austin spoke about his passion behind the message in the movie and answered questions from the audience. It was a good movie and I enjoyed the message immensely.

After the show, I decided to purchase the DVD and a leadership course that Austin has put together. Through a bit of confusion (see my post Tres Leches for a hint) I ended up purchasing a four-hour in-person workshop, an experiential workshop. During which Austin holds a mock trial to help break the ‘state of illusion of our lives that is caused by the filters created by our past and lack of awareness of our surroundings.

As we began, the audience filled out a worksheet with questions about our lives and future dreams. Austin then went through some amazing scientific facts about the limited amount of sensory input we are consciously able to process and how due to this, much of what we perceive is filled in by our imagination or mind. Next, leveraging his experience as a trial lawyer (in his past life) he went around the audience and asked them questions to help break their illusion! What an eye opening experience!

Though I enjoyed his movie, witnessing this ‘trial’ in person took my respect for him and his message to a new level! It turns out the questionnaire was designed to identify issues that each of the audience members needed to work on for themselves to grow. You have probably seen these types of questions before, I know I have, but they are easy to forget. They are the types that force us to look inward at ourselves and this takes a certain passion for change. Passion that is not always easy to find!

For example, one of the questions was ‘What actions by others consistently rub you the wrong way?’ Imagine my surprise that the answer we wrote down was something that we do to others or is an issue we have with ourselves! Other questions led to similar disbelief among the group.

Austin warned us ahead of time that we were not allowed to speak up during the question and answer sessions. I did not understand at first but it became excruciatingly clear why we could not. As different people volunteered, we sat and watched in disbelief. They explained their position from every angle and at first, could not understand for the life of them how it was their own issue!

To everyone in the audience, it was blatantly obvious that the responsibility lay within the person questioned. They simply could not SEE it at first! However, that did not stop more people from volunteering and repeating the same experience! No one could easily look inside and identify the problem and resolution without help. No matter how obvious it was to the crowd.

One woman exclaimed, ‘This is WAY easier when you are sitting down and listening’! Unfortunately, we are great at judging others but blind to our own weaknesses. The reason it is so difficult for us to self-analyze, turn our attention inward is because it is UNCOMFORTABLE, and prompts change. Something we usually resist. Is this beneficial? Absolutely! The expression on each volunteers face as they made a breakthrough was inspirational to all.

Being a witness at this trial helped me re-imagine many relationships. I encourage you to take some time to watch the movie and turn your attention inward. As life presents challenges and situations that are upsetting or disappointing, use them as your own experiential workshop to learn a worthwhile lesson and better your efforts on your path. After all, you are reading this blog for ideas on how to change for the better, aren’t you?!



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