Sharing your experience of transformation and inviting loved ones to iEvolve can be a daunting and challenging prospect. In this week’s post Andi Osho talks about her experiences of introducing iEvolve to friends and family and what she has discovered about passing on the work.
It was Tuesday, the “In Your Life” part of iEvolve and ‘life’ wasn’t feeling great. Still reeling from the weekend, I felt disconnected and lost despite Sheila Parmar assuring me I was “in good shape”. I’d arranged to meet my friend Gareth that evening, but sitting in a noisy pub watching football was the last thing I wanted to do. I didn’t think Gareth would understand what I’d just experienced and I couldn’t pretend everything was OK.
As it turned out, Gareth would be the first person I’d share iEvolve with. He knew something was up so I just told him where I was at, that I was having a tough time after a peculiar weekend at this place called ‘Concord Institute’. Against all my expectations, Gareth already knew about transformation and with no drama simply said, “My mate Paul did something similar. You’ll be fine”.
Fast-forward a week and with the Completion Evening in my wake, I was now evangelical about the work. Reborn, I wanted to spread the good news to anyone who’d listen and so begun my eventful journey into passing on the programme to others. My friends were delighted for me, if a little overwhelmed by my enthusiasm for this profound experience I couldn’t quite articulate. They listened sweetly as I tried explaining the nine dots (yeah, I know we’re not supposed to) and the magical, disappearing chair (I know, I know…) but there were no takers. Undeterred, I ploughed on through my friendship group but my bubble would soon burst.
I’d arranged a lunch with my close friend, Dougie, and was excited to discuss iEvolve with him but before we’d even ordered he’d dismissed the work as hypnosis. I spent the next hour completely in my head.
I felt foolish and exposed, not having the language to counter him. Cynicism, a lack of interest, or worse – resistance, I hadn’t factored into my game plan at all. Once I’d regrouped, my enthusiasm slowly returned and, after several unsuccessful invitations, a friend registered to do the programme, a thrilling and scary moment for both of us.
A few weeks later, another registration — my best friend. However, days before the programme, he withdrew. Determined to fix this ‘problem’ I pressured him to reconsider, which descended into a full-blown argument. When I finally checked in with Sheila she helped me see that a better approach would have been to take care of him. I’d been so intent on having him do the programme I’d forgotten that he wasn’t a problem to fix but a person who was pulling back from the precipice of something he didn’t feel ready for. I’d forgotten that no one needs to do iEvolve.
As the months went by, I continued having conversations with my friends and family. I was still pretty heavy-handed but through trial and error, more registrations followed. Not an avalanche, but certainly there was movement. Regardless of how recklessly I approached the conversation, my underlying intent was always to make a difference in the lives of my friends and family so they could experience the same profound shift I had. As time passed, I saw there was an art to this process that was refined by repetition and one’s own further participation in the work.
Even learning the basics of how to invite someone took me a few years; things like setting up a time to speak, confirming who was calling who and even ensuring they were available for the programme dates. In life we often fudge things but with this, you simply couldn’t. You’d always get caught out. One of my tactics early on was starting the invitation intending just to get my friend on the phone with Sheila thinking from there she’d work her Sheila magic and, voila, they’d register! She soon trained that out of me.
Another invitation skill is learning to listen not just aurally but energetically so we can distinguish a passing curiosity from an authentic interest that may translate into action. Recently I learned the benefit of talking with Sheila about who I could invite. I now got that this is a way of investigating whether or not iEvolve is appropriate for them, and that the choice to extend an invitation, or not, was still entirely mine.
And of course, there’s the matter of who we need to be once your friend or family member has registered. I’m only just starting to understand the importance of actively being a link, an energetic embrace that extends beyond registration into iEvolve right up to The Foundation Course. It’s tempting to palm people off into the system but The Foundation Course, where the transformational heavy lifting often occurs, is also where the student forges their own relationship with the organisation therefore, if we really are a stand for our loved ones’ transformation, it behooves us to shepherd them that far.
There’s no doubt, inviting someone into Evolve can be challenging. After you’ve hauled yourself out of the way, it still takes humility, trust and an open-heartedness generated anew each time to create the sacred space where the conversation is even possible.
There’s no formula, no strategy; no IKEA transformation manual. It’s risky, scary and exposing. But if we’re committed to sharing the health and well-being that this body of work offers, what else can we do but gift it forward, remain vigilant for those magical beings seeking a new possibility, then graciously, lovingly and authentically invite them through the open door.
The next iEvolve will take place on 3, 4, 5 March and the evening of 8 March 2017.
For full details see the iEvolve web page here.