I recently returned from a different kind of training called “Expand the Box” (ETB), which is about just that: expanding your box (the kind of box that you might know as “ego” or something alike, which contains all your assumptions and auto-pilot settings to function in this world).
And wow did I expand my box once again!
This was my third ETB and as much as my box might lead me to believe I know it all already, I got things quite differently this time.
My training began 2 days before the official training kick-off, when I reached the airport to fly to Australia – only to find out my evisa application hadn’t gone through and I would not be able to travel that day. I was also advised that it would be unlikely I could travel the next day because these things take time. Admittedly, mine wasn’t a standard case and I hadn’t made visa arrangements early enough. The Australian public holiday that day didn’t exactly help.
What did I do? I stayed in Auckland for one night and showed up at the Australian consulate first thing the next morning. It was when I stood in front of the security guard with the threat that I wouldn’t even get past him, that I decided on my clear intention to travel to Australia that same day, and I told him just that: that I really wanted to travel that day and that I requested his help. I could see something shift in his expression when I said this. He gave my information to some consulate staff and they came out to talk to me. They were willing to contact the office in charge and inform them that I had shown up in person. With that, I decided to drive back to the airport to wait for my visa. 3 hours later, I received it by e-mail.
Now I just needed a flight… and guess what: no seats were available on my preferred flight, and the others were ridiculously expensive.
I confirmed my intention to fly to Australia that day, and told that to the airline sales person in charge. He put me on the waiting list. An hour later, I had the last seat on the airplane, and was on my way to Australia shortly after!
Here’s what I learned: if I am not clear on my intentions, my hidden intention may creep in – that of my “shadow side”. It’s the one that likes to sabotage my plans, and to do so procrastinates or talks away any intuition I may have. If I am clear and conscious on my intention, I can create possibilities and people are willing to support me in this (it always takes a team, and it may include strangers).
The actual training in Australia lasted for 5 days. It was heart-warming to see myself and the other participants open up and become softer, yet clearer, and to feel the connection growing. I felt a lot of fear to show myself, and felt my box cracking open like a hatching egg when I received feedback from within the group, realising they all saw right through my strategies of protecting (and isolating) myself, and right to the core of my being.
I could also sense that, while I was committed to being there, I still held back a bit. Which is a pity, somehow, and I am learning to acknowledge myself for the steps I did take. I realised I have hidden long enough and decided to show up. I loved realising that I am not alone on this journey, and that there are brothers and sisters on their way, too. I have a team! I do not have to know how it works, and it does not even have to be perfect – I can allow myself to stay human in it all. In fact, it is about being human: feeling all feelings, making mistakes, learning from mistakes (and sometimes even failing at that). It’s a process, a journey, and it leads me to feeling alive instead of trying to survive.
I also realised I want to bring this valuable training to New Zealand. If you know the movie “Matrix”, you can imagine the training being similar to unplugging a human being from the Matrix. It is scary and yet so powerful, and I feel tremendous joy when I see people “unplug” themselves.
Do you want to join me on this journey? Then I invite you to be a pioneer and join the first ETB ever to be held in New Zealand: in Taupo from 6-9 December 2018, with a trainer from Switzerland. Save the date – more details to follow!