Who You Are Changes With Who You’re With

Who we are with others, is not who we are when alone. Think about it. Who you are, the thoughts you are having, the things you say, the things you do, are different depending on who you are in the presence of. This is a very interesting characteristic of relationships.

Science is finding that who we are is different when we’re in a “community energy field” than when we are alone! Although this is an amazing fact, we’ve all experienced people and groups that inspire us, and people and groups that depress us. It’s obvious we are affected by others. These are energetic fields that are affecting our own energetic field, the thoughts and feelings we are having, AND the actions we are taking. With this in mind, you can see why carefully choosing who you hang out with is a very important choice!

Recently I was at Esalen Institute on the California Big Sur Coastline co-facilitating an ITP Mastery program (Integral Transformative Practice). It was an AMAZING weekend of transformation, community, magic, and fun. Essential to this magic is THE COMMUNITY – the people that are gathered. Every person is their own unique vibrating energy field – some vibrating at higher frequencies, some vibrating at lower frequencies. When you gather a group of people vibrating at higher frequencies, the GROUP energy is palpable – this was the case with the Esalen weekend. We were all there, fully present, open, and ready to go.

There’s an old saying “Where two or more are gathered, I am there among them.” To me, this is pointing toward the “group energy field” or even “The MasterMind,” and it only takes two to create it. This is an active field of intelligence that we both contribute to and receive from as a member of a group. This is also the key to one of the most powerful aspects of 1-on-1 coaching – you participate in a field of energy that brings new insights, inspirations, and ideas that you would never get while alone.

While walking the path of transformation there are good days and bad days, and all kinds of days in between. However, I have found that walking with others not only makes it a whole lot more enjoyable, it also makes possible things that just aren’t possible when you are walking alone. We are on this planet with other people for a reason! If life was meant to be lived alone, you would BE alone. But alas, at last count, there are some 6 billion of us walking around! For developing your mojo, finding your friends – the folks on your team – is essential.

In the Spring 1996 issue of The Noetic Sciences Review, Margaret Wheatley (Organizational Consultant and author of Leadership and the New Science: Learning About Organization from an Orderly Universe) wrote an article about the hidden intelligence orchestrating and organizing all things in the Universe. In this article one of the things she points out is that who we are with others, or who we are in community, is different than who we are when alone. She stated, “You cannot understand the power of the individual by assessing or understanding who they are when alone.” In our individualistic, lone-ranger society, this is a revolutionary concept!

To understand who someone is and the powers they possess, you have to look at them when in community and in relationship with others! Our gifts are designed for, and come forward, in the presence of others! Margaret further pointed out that “none of the personality assessors or indicators (e.g. Myers-Briggs) let us know who or what we are capable of being when we are in community with one another.” We are mistaken if we think we can understand what an individual is capable of by looking at them only when alone.

I almost always experience this phenomenon when presenting to or leading groups. Things I say and do are often emergent, in the moment, and something I’ve never said or done exactly that way before. Often someone will ask “Can you say that again?” and I’ll be at a loss for saying it exactly the same way I just said it BECAUSE it was a channeled moment of non-thinking coming forth in the presence of others – not something I consciously and intentionally assembled in advance. Another interesting aspect of this emergent capacity when in groups is that people will come up to me and say “What you said was so perfect for me – it was spot on for what I am dealing with in my life right now.” This happens when I am in THEIR presence. I could never have planned that in advance by myself.

Margaret provides a great example of 20-foot tall termite towers on the Australian savanna. When entomologists study the individual termite what they find is they are only capable of digging dirt piles. However, these 20 foot towers are amazingly complex feats of engineering, built on a north-south axis, with tunnels and arches inside designed to move air into a darkened interior where it is cooler. “The nests are also designed to move moisture in so the termites can farm a form of fungi they require for digestion. These are very sophisticated structures.”

Entomologists looked for years for the leader, for the engineer, for the “brains” behind the operation. But they never found one. What they found when they looked closer was an emergent capacity in the termites that was only present when in community. If you looked just at an individual termite, all you saw was that they could dig. But when they got together, new capacities for building began to emerge. “Isolated, they barely have any significance. But as a coordinated group they perform like a hive-mind. Like neurons, they emit chemicals for communication… they’re very tuned in… and they respond.”

The main take-away is to realize that your capacities are different when you’re alone vs. when you’re with others. Choose wisely the company you keep!

Try this: Ask yourself: Who and what in my life right now does not support my highest vision of myself? List out these people, groups, activities, and things. Decide right now to give less of your time, attention, and energy to these things on your path that are not serving you (nor is it serving them!).

Then ask yourself: Who and what in my life right now does support my highest vision of myself? List out these people, groups, activities, and things. Decide right now to give more of your time, attention, and energy to these things on your path that are serving and supporting the highest vision of yourself.

Congratulations! You’re one step closer to surrounding yourself with inspiring energy fields and accessing your mojo!

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