1 Month Ago Today … everything changed

1 month ago, today @ 1pm – my brother called me …

Robin: “Hi Kyle, how’s it going”?

Me: “good Robin, what’s up”?

Robin: “dad has passed away” …

(Our conversation continued, but you get the point … not easy to take …)

A couple week later a friend from Florida asked me “what happened”; here’s my reply …

My dad fought cancer for over 2 years. Cancer of the esophagus. As the months closed, so did his throat & his ability to take on food. The last weeks were painful. At one point he said to me “every moment bleeds into the next” … he never said it explicitly, but I could tell it was hell. Very much.

He used to be 240 lbs; died at around 150 (at best). I said good bye to his physical body, the day after he passed. First with my mom & brother as a family. Then one last trek in to say goodbye to my father. The hardest moment of my entire life to this point. As I once again feel the agony of the experience – I close in saying, thank you for your friendship & sharing in this opportunity we call life.


In the last 30 days, here are some things that are real for me …

1) It’s said “when the WHY is strong enough the HOW will show itself”. The passion inside to really “go for it” in life – the WHY, is stronger then ever for me. As Dr David Wolf tells, living with a sense of “urgency”, is the idea that “every moment counts”. David lost his mother in early February, making the theme of urgency relevant for him as well.

2) People are inherently well intentioned, even through layers of advice, like “stay strong” and “he’s in a better place now”. Tip: 80% of people have some type of advice around death – on the whole, as survivor it’s quite relentless … 5-10 ppl/day with advice is difficult to deal with. Please consider the power of this “The First Duty of Love is to Listen”.

* Note: the tone in the linked blog post, is considerably stronger then the message here. Different circumstance. So it’s clear I am grateful for all the support. Also I’m aware, death isn’t an easy thing to handle, regardless of proximity. Goal here is to be honest & shed “light” on the experience & topic … maybe to help others in the future.

3) Further to that, having great friendships really showed its worth – thank you to these countless people!

Enjoy your day & the moment,


PS – the message isn’t necessarily “don’t give advice” … more so to consider reducing “it” especially around times of extreme hardship.


One Prisoner; One Guard … Same Guy

10’s upon 100’s of jail cells … all around me. One specifically to my right, seems like it could be mine, however I’m not inside it. Where I stand is the hallway of an entire prison. Looking down the prison there is no one else …

Who created this prison?

The answer is – me & my mind … the only prisoner & the only guard.

As I sit in this realization, the prison starts lifting off the ground. Very much depicting the process I’m in. Shifting my habits, thoughts & ultimately life. Living for what I want, not what I “should do” or be.

… the prison rises about 3-4 feet above the ground, clunking to a stop. Chains holding it in place, taking it no further. It’s not ready to float away & vanish. There’s 26 years of comfort here! … even in the realization of the pain, that this prison MUST go.

A few days after this realization … the quote below came through my email …

Spiritual Healing is not just becoming free from pain, it is realizing that you were never really trapped. ~ James Keeley

Do you live in a self created prison?

The more I share this story, the more it seems to be relevant for others. And on a lighter note … when writing this blog, Creed’s song “My Own Prison” came to mind. The final lyrics ringing out so clearly. “I created, I created, I created, I created my own prison”.


PS – If you have further pull towards this topic, feel free to tune in around the 37 minute mark on the Satvatove Radio Show. The caller will be familiar. And in line with a previous blog around “The Age of Authenticity“, I’m taking a leap of faith … to live what I believe. Be the change right … don’t just blog about it.

That Was Listening?? You’re not serious …

Maybe you’ve experienced a situation where all you wanted to be was “heard??

Nothing more … nothing less.

If so, this will probably resonate with you …

The first duty of love is to listen

(Paul Tillich) Listening, real listening is what most people fail to do…listening is done not only with the ears but with all of our being. It is compassion and a tolerance that another may say something you don’t want to hear……It is the courage to have your world view change….real listening is a gift and a duty in love that you give to another that tells them they are cherished and of worth. On Listening (Ralph Roughton)

When I ask you to listen to me and you start by giving me advice, you have not done what I have asked.

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin by telling me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to solve my problems, you have failed me, strange as it may seem.


All I ask is that you listen, not talk or do ….. just hear me. When you do something for me that I can do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy. And I can do for myself. I’m not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless. But, when you accept as simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you and get about the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling. And when that’s clear the answers are obvious – and I don’t need advise. Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what is behind them.

Perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes, for some people ….. because God is mute, and doesn’t give advise or try to fix things.


After learning REAL listening through Satvatove, it’s apparent MILLIONS of people everyday, seldom get “heard”.

Just in the last 24 hours, 2 friends approached me about this; in both instances the “listener” was giving them advice about their situation (without permission) and not actually listening. I used to assume that “giving advice” was hand in hand with being a good listener … and often it’s not. Even though it does have its time and place. It should be one tool of many, not the only one.

Some give advice … before determining the true situation. Also a big mistake. Sometimes these “advice feeders“would be served to put their giant ego to the side … at least for 5 minutes. Start with listening. To many people preach listening and don’t practice it.

“Praise” is also an all-time favourite amongst many and also something I did constantly for over 25 years. Why not give someone some praise? After all it will make them “feel better” right? Cover up the reality of their situation. Making them walk away saying, “well I feel a bit better, but I sure didn’t get to the heart of the matter”.

It serves them more to LISTEN. It ultimately serves you too, as the listener, b/c people’s trust will go through the roof. And if you’re authentic and well intentioned, there’s nothing wrong with this and absolutely everything right.

We all have the answers to our own questions and it’s WAY MORE POWERFUL when we create our own solutions, vs. having them feed from someone else. As great listeners we can help people find clarity in their own thoughts & empowerment in their own conclusions.

** Update on one of my friends, who I truly listened to …

She went from being hungry, lazily lying on the floor, feeling totally uninspired … to telling jokes, taking powerful responsiblity for her situation, making plans, etc., all with in the course of 45 minutes.  Allowing her to unload the weight she was feeling about life and BE HEARD, turned her day around 180 degrees & she authentically thanked me for it.

This it’s what’s possible for everyone of us! Just a matter of being willing to grow and learn some new skills. If we sit around and think grade 1-12 plus some post secondary is all the education we’ll need … that’s cheating ourselves, our friends, our family & society at large.

So it’s clear – I’m not a communication god. There’s still much to learn. Thanks to incredible teachers and an evolving circle of friends, I’m aware my own journey in this regard has just started.

As always, thoughts & comments are welcome.



PS –  Last Tuesday I woke to immense inspiration around this … “what if worldwide we could communicate on a really deep level”? What would that do for our problems? The war? The hate? The misunderstanding? The pain amongst in our very own families?  Satvatove for me is the doorway to what’s possible. Hundreds who’ve taken their courses & coaching would agree.

PSS – The things I saw in Florida this past August @ the Advanced Course, were some of the most profound things ever seen with my own two eyes. As a society we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. We’re playing small … we can play bigger. Lastly, to my two dear friends who depart to Florida this Saturday – you’re both incredibly courageous for having the guts to take this on. My thoughts are with you and I await your return in two weeks time.

Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 5:51 pm  Comments (3)  
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