Today I offer up five important nuggets of simple wisdom that will help you elevate your entire intimacy journey. In this episode, I share some of my favorite pieces of advice to get you to move from self-doubt to self-honoring and bring more compassion into your love life. I also explain the Inner Mentor Process and how to apply it to your own life.
Listen in to learn how to validate your feelings and bring simple wisdom into your dating life.
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- How to bring simple wisdom into your dating life
- What questions can you ask yourself on the path to love
- How to honor yourself
- What did Ken’s father teach him about self-honoring
- How to move from self-doubt to self-honoring
- What is The Inner Mentor Process
- How to bring more compassion into your love life
- Listen to The Deeper Dating Podcast Episode 3: The Greatest Practice To Speed Your Path to Love
- Get a copy of Deeper Dating by Ken Page
- Join the Coaching and Mentorship Intensive with Ken Page
- Connect with us on Instagram
The experience of simple wisdom can elevate your entire intimacy journey. In this episode, I’ll teach techniques for introducing that wisdom into your intimacy life, and when that happens you’ll find walls turning into doors. You’ll find your heart softening and expanding, you’ll tap into your own inner greatness and groundedness. So stay tuned to this episode of the Deeper Dating® podcast.
Hi, everybody, and welcome to the Deeper Dating® Podcast. I’m Ken Page. I’m a psychotherapist, a coach, the author of the bestselling book, Deeper Dating, and the creator of the Deeper Dating® Intensive, and I’m so glad to be with you here today.
Today we’re going to talk about how to bring the power of simple wisdom into your search for love and your intimate relationships. And we’re going to learn some very wonderful tools to be able to do that.
But first, I just want to say that in this and every episode, my commitment is to share with you the greatest and most meaningful tools I know to help you find love, keep it flourishing, and heal your life in the process through the deep skills of intimacy.
And if you want to learn more about this approach, just go to deeperdatingpodcast.com, and there you’ll find transcripts of every episode and you’ll learn lots of different ways to learn more about this work and to receive free gifts and free resources from me.
For those of us who are highly sensitive, for those of us who have been traumatized, for those of us who care deeply about the nuance of connectedness or the nuance of anything in our lives, we can often and easily feel like there's… Click To Tweet
So, let’s jump in. I heard this quote once, which really touched me, and the quote was that, “Higher wisdom resolves complexity into simplicity.” And this really touched me, and I imagine that all of you have had that experience too, of getting some kind of a sense of wisdom, a realization, somebody says something really wise or you realize something that opens up your heart and makes sense and crystallizes things. And there’s a feeling of a resolving into simplicity.
Not that it might not be a complex issue and that you understand it in a complex way, but even in that complexity, there is a simplicity of seeing. And oh God, that is such a wonderful feeling and it’s a feeling that we can cultivate, and when we do, it gives us direction, it gives us intimacy, it gives us vulnerability, and it settles us inside our own heart.
So, today I’m going to be talking about some wonderful tools to help you bring simple, rich wisdom into your dating life and your search for love. And let me just say that I’m not talking about forced cheap answers. I’m not talking about forced wisdom. I’m talking about that beautiful, resolving, healing experience of deeper wisdom, registering and resonating inside you.
Transform self-doubt into self-honoring:
Okay. So, the first thing that I want to talk about is this experience of self-doubt, which I think all of us know so well. And we can experience that in a relationship conflict. We can experience it in relation to ourselves.
I remember once, many, many years ago, I was meditating and I think I fell asleep, but I got this very amazing image of my ego, my inner structure at that time. And it was a burlap bag filled with fighting cats, but there was no way out. There was no escape. It was an endless loop. Poor cats in that image. Poor me in my life at that point. But it was a moment of wisdom because I was like, “Yeah, that’s what it’s like in my brain.”
We make things so complicated by trying to figure things out in our own head versus just leaning on the wisdom of loved ones. Click To Tweet
So, this experience of self-doubt; self-doubt, conflict, anger, frustration, we can have this when we’re in conflict with ourselves. We can have this when we are doubting our very own being. Those are different situations, but in all those situations, the way to handle it I think is the same. And that is to begin with a process of self-honoring, which is, why does it make sense that you’re feeling what you’re feeling? Actually allowing room not just for your feeling, but for the understandable-ness, if not the wisdom of that feeling.
Now, as someone who has experienced so much self-doubt in my life and has been prone to self-criticism in profound ways, this has been a really big key. And I’m going to share a story with you in a minute or two of a very powerful personal experience of that. But what I want to do first is just share with you a practice from the book Deeper Dating. And these are things that you can tell yourself that will shift you in a very direct concrete way from self-doubt to self-honoring. So, I want to read these to you.
So, when you’re asking yourself, the next time you’re asking yourself, and maybe you could even try this right now because you might be asking yourself this question right now, “What’s wrong with me for feeling this way?” You can replace that with this incredibly empowering and important question, which is, “In what way does this feeling make sense? Given the situation, given my heart, my life, my life story, in what way does it make such sense that I feel this way, not just because of my internal stuff, but because of what might be going on outside?”
Another is, “What will people think of me?” And that question needs to be replaced with first, “What do I think of this? How is this feeling an authentic message from my inner self?” And another one that we can plague ourselves with, but is also a valuable question is, “How can I fix this part of me?” And the answer to both using that question and protecting yourself from the self-doubt inherent in it is to say, “What does this part of me need now? What’s the worth and the value of that need? And how could I honor and dignify it by putting it into words in this relationship?”
For those of us who are highly sensitive, for those of us who have been traumatized, for those of us who care deeply about the nuance of connectedness or the nuance of anything in our lives, we can often and easily feel like there’s something wrong with us for feeling the way that we feel. And to honor that by asking the questions that I just listed is such an act of self-healing and self-soothing.
Simple wisdom in action:
So, I want to share a story. I’ve talked about my dad before. My dad was a Holocaust survivor, and he was a tough guy. I mean, he was a tough guy. He literally would ride a motorcycle in a pit of lions. Literally, he did that. He was what could be called maybe counterphobic, which was that he knew during the Holocaust that fear would kill him and fear would make him like many of the other people who were killed. So, he was just not going to do fear. And he ended up with a son who had lots of sensitivities and lots of fears. That was not so easy.
My dad was never, never abusive to me, but he didn’t understand me, and he was tough and I was this gay kid, and it was one of those situations where neither of us understood each other, but I knew down to my bones that I didn’t feel that safe. I didn’t feel that loved. I didn’t feel like he got how much fun I could be. I never felt like he got that. And I was afraid of him, but it was very hard for me to admit that.
And then we took this wilderness trip together, my whole family, and something happened that was really very painful for me in an interaction with him. And at, I guess maybe I was, I don’t know what I was, maybe in my early 30s, but I said to him that I had been afraid of him my entire life and that that was not my fault. And he tried to make it my fault, and I would not go along with that at all. I was pretty fierce. It just came out of me.
It was this incredible transcendent experience we had in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. And I was in myself and I spoke my truth and years of therapy, and I just really did not let go with the fact that I was frightened of him my whole life and that I was not going to take responsibility, that there was some way that I never felt seen or embraced by him. I wouldn’t let go.
He was devastated. He was crushed, he was really crushed. And I felt really guilty, which I am prone to guilt in a really, really big way. And I remember we were in a hotel, it was our last night of the trip, looking in a mirror and saying, “Did I just do something really, really terrible?” That was hard for me to do.
And the response that I got from myself was, “No, you told the truth. You told your truth.” It was a very scary thing. There was a battle of such deep guilt, but also some part of me that said, “No, I had to speak the truth.”
I just so encourage all of you to find some practice that helps you de-flintify your heart and soften your heart on a daily basis because when you do, you will get whispers of simple wisdom.. Click To Tweet
And the next morning we went to the airport and I had some time alone with my dad, and he looked me in the eyes, and I might’ve shared this story before, but he looked me in the eyes and he started crying. This was in the time of AIDS when there was no cure, there was no treatment. It was this unbelievably terrifying thing. I had not been tested at that point. And he just looked at me and he started crying, and he said, “You better be careful and you better use protection because I could not bear to lose you.”
So, he started crying and I started crying, and we fell into each other’s arms, and that was the beginning of a very profound healing. But if I hadn’t been able to find the place of self-honoring, that place where I could admit and honor what I felt and give that dignity, none of that would’ve happened. I would’ve stayed diminished. I would’ve stayed under the thumb of this mythical father. And we never would’ve had a bonding which grew and grew and grew with ups and downs, but grew and grew and grew until the day he died.
So, that’s a story of the power of self-honoring and then self-expression with someone who deserved that because of the person he was. Something so complicated and lifelong by self-honoring became simple, and it became simple between us, too.
So, a next one I want to talk about, and these are experiences, that gorgeous experience of sugar melting into warm water. That experience of rigidity, of complexity, of self-doubt, resolving and melting into something better and more beautiful and more filled with sustenance.
So, another thing that we can do is to bring greater compassion to ourselves and to our partners. And one way that we can do this, this is a really beautiful exercise, it’s one I’ve used a lot. And it is that when you’re about to meet with someone you love or talk to someone you love, and you’re going to talk about something difficult or something frustrating, to actually list five things in your head that they have done, that have been growthful, that have been kind, that have been showing that they care and that they’re maybe working on this issue.
And list those things in your head because it guides us in how to respond in situations that are really difficult and challenging, and softens our heart.
And the same with you to yourself, whenever you’re confronting an area where you have been stuck, start with those five things. It just puts you in a mindset that is really different. And that experience of compassion is one that even I would really encourage you to take a minute.
Think about a time when you were in relationship with someone and you approached the situation with a kind of judgment or rigidity or tightness, and then something happened that you were able to shift into compassion. The insights that you had, the opening, the ways that maybe things that felt like walls became doors. Just remember that, remember the feeling of it, because that is your simple wisdom in action.
Outsource this simple wisdom:
And I’m going to share another story from my dating life. This is a story of a guy I dated who was really attractive to me. He was really cute and I was interested. And he was a nice guy, a really nice guy, but he didn’t really listen to me. And again and again and again, I would try to get him to listen to me. And as you could imagine, talking and communicating is a really, really big one for me.
So, I was about to dump him and my dear, dear friend Michael, who I’ve talked about at certain points, had another take on it. And he said, “Ken, this guy is actually trying to be a good boyfriend. He’s really trying to be a good boyfriend. So, why don’t you instruct him? Maybe he doesn’t understand this kind of deep listening.” Michael said those words, the sugar melted, my heart softened. I got clarity. Thank you, Michael.
And I did it. I did it with him, and I did it in a kind way. And I watched his eyes and his face register understanding. Was he capable of doing this, finally? Absolutely not. Did we end up ending because I just knew that this was not going to work? Yes, that is what happened, but my heart softened and I learned a lesson that stayed with me, and I approached this from a place of hope and of seeing his goodness. So, I just think that that is such a really important thing.
And that leads to the third way to introduce and inject simple wisdom. And this is a big, big, big, big, big, big, big one. So, Michael had to say that to me for me to be able to see it. And what about the situation where on one hand you’ve got self-honoring, “Yes, what I’m feeling is valid, it makes sense.” On the other hand, the person you care about is seeing it from a different angle, and you want to have compassion for them and their point of view as well? Well, this is a state of artistry and it’s really complex.
And what I want to say is that in situations like that, you save breathtaking amounts of time by talking to people who are going to be honest, who care about you, who have depth, who have wisdom, are going to speak the truth and are going to help you grow. You will evolve by lifetimes more than you would by picking yourself up by your own bootstraps and trying to figure it out in your own head. And that’s such a great image because you try to pick yourself up by your own bootstraps, you land on the ground in one millisecond.
And I used to run spiritual retreats for large groups of people. Usually by the third day, the second day, people would begin to experience their conflicts. The pink cloud space was over and conflicts and difficulties and struggles would come in.
And I would know that because I had led the retreat for so long, and I would say to people, “Here’s my suggestion. Of course you’re going to try to work this out in your head first because that’s what most people do. Try, try again. If it doesn’t work, admit defeat and go to someone you love and someone you care about, who sees you and understands you, you will save a breathtaking amount of time.”
This is a way that we make things so complicated by trying to figure things out in our own head versus just leaning on the wisdom of loved ones. Infinite amounts of time can be saved by doing that. So, that’s another one that we all have to remember. And I want to ask you right now, take a minute and think, who are those golden people who you trust, who have wisdom, who you can psychically lean on and feel like you get wisdom from?
In the intensives that I run, we have small communities of people, all of who’ve done a great deal of work on themselves. And these are communities where, as people experience the millions of questions they have in their intimacy journey, they can lean on for support and guidance. And every one of us needs that. And if you want to speed your evolution, that’s one of the quickest ways to go.
The last thing I want to mention in terms of how we can inject simple wisdom into the complexity of all of our relationship stuff is a daily practice that softens our heart. I have done a daily practice for so many years. I teach a daily practice, and it’s one that I adore and I teach everybody that I work with. It’s called the Inner Mentor Process, and it’s a way you can bypass your inner critic, tap into your simple wisdom, and receive guidance.
If you go to deeperdatingpodcast.com and you sign up for my mailing list, you’ll get a free gift of an Inner Mentor journal and the Inner Mentor audio practice. Or you could just go to episode three where I talk about that practice. It’s one gorgeous practice. I do tapping. I do meditation. This is such an important part of my daily life, and I am so thankful for the car crashes and the problems, not literal car crashes, that I saved myself from by these whispers of wisdom that come to me in my meditation or afterwards that soften my heart, that help me get clear on what my truth is.
But I just think, and I read this somewhere, that the human heart gets flinty and hard without ongoing softening. And I just so encourage all of you to find some practice that helps you de-flintify your heart and soften your heart on a daily basis, because when you do, you will get whispers of simple wisdom. And those wisdoms resolve the difficulty of self-doubt and complexity. They help us love ourselves. They’re treasures, and we feel them as treasures. They change our nervous system, and they give us wisdom that’s going to affect us for our entire lives.
Now, I really believe in shopping around. So, if you do a meditation where you think you just need to silence your mind, but you can’t and you don’t adore that meditation, shop around until you find a meditation you adore. If you feel like it’s too difficult for you to meditate, do guided meditations and keep looking until you find one that feels really great for you.
But then you do the meditations, your heart softens, your heart enlarges. You become wiser. You become more available to simple wisdom. And then in your day-to-day life, you listen for moments of simple wisdom. You feel into yourselves for moments of simple wisdom, and you feel them when they come. And they’re gold, they’re precious, they’re the pearl inside the oyster of our daily lives, and by having a daily practice, we invite that into our lives.
I’d love to hear from any of you or all of you about moments of simple wisdom that you’ve had, that have resolved complexity into simplicity for you. Thank you so much for listening. I look forward to hearing your stories as you do this work, and I look forward to connecting with you on the next episode of the Deeper Dating® Podcast.
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