In the 7th episode of Relationships First, Bill and Molly talk through the idea of how our relationship with ourselves affects everything else.
Molly McKinley: Hey, Bill. How are you today?
Bill Risser: I'm great, Molly. How are you?
Molly McKinley: I know you've been looking forward to this conversation, so...
Bill Risser:Yeah, yeah. Look, I think I'm going to get some help today. All of us can use some help, right?
Molly McKinley: I love it. We are talking today about the relationships with ourselves, and how important that is in terms of understanding our relationships with others.
Bill Risser:So in preparation for this, I was listening to a speaker at the NAR convention in Boston, and talking about likeability and how important likeability is to develop relationships with people. I thought, "Yeah, that's pretty important." Then the next thing he said was, "But to be likable, you got to like yourself first." When I heard that, I went, "Oh my gosh, here we go. This is taking me down the path that Molly's going to help me with on episode seven."
Molly McKinley: Okay, that's amazing. First of all, funny story with likeability: I always joke to my children that your likeability factor goes way down with every selfie that you take.
Bill Risser: Nice. Nice.
Molly McKinley: That's a pretty good metaphor, right, because it's all about me instead of we. Likeability is not, I believe, directly correlated to, when we're self-centered versus when we are we-centered. Yeah, that's my parenting advice for the episode-
Bill Risser: That's great.
Molly McKinley: Is remembering that your likeability goes way down with every selfie that you post.
Bill Risser: Yeah, that's great. I love that. This conversation we're going to have today, it is going to be about me. It is going to be about you, because it's about these internal conversations. Maybe you're going to help me with that self-talk or this voice that I hear inside my head that's different than the one that I project out to other people. Is that kind of where we're headed?
Molly McKinley: It is, right? Okay, well it's very interesting that you say that because I think we all have that internal dialogue. A lot of times, that dialogue internally is very different than what we project externally. For a lot of women, we greatly suffer from "imposter syndrome" where we hold ourselves back because we're always afraid that we're going to be found out, that we're not as smart or as good or as whatever. That actually is a very limiting factor because I fundamentally believe we're all pretty amazing. To even be alive in this moment, all of the millions of moments that had to happen so that we could actually physically be here together, you and I, is kind of mind-blowing. When you see the moments like that, there's just a natural respect or reverence that happens because there's magic in that.
Molly McKinley: So, on a tangent, but your ability to really see yourself for the greatness that you actually are is what this is all about for me because then, you can see and recognize that greatness in others. You have to be able to see it yourself.
Bill Risser: So, would you say that the majority of people don't tend to look for the greatness in themselves but they tend to look at the negative in themselves?
Molly McKinley: Oh, 100%.
Bill Risser:That's the question. That's the problem. In this internal battle, how does good win over evil?
Molly McKinley: Yeah.
Bill Risser:Is part of it just knowing that, for starters?
Molly McKinley: Well this is a hard conversation to de-couple from any kind of religious or spiritual conversation, right? First of all, level setting. I think we're always afraid of having conversations when it comes to religion or spirituality because, well first of all, let's level set: this is an inclusive conversation, regardless of what path you take. It is about the belief that we are all sort of spiritual beings having a human experience. I believe that to be true, and if you disagree, it's fine. It doesn't really matter, but the core of what animates us, like what is that? What is the origination of the animation? It's an interesting conversation, and that to me is "Self" with a capital "S," and being able to identify and see that in others, whether it's a spark of light or a spark of goodness in someone else, whatever it is. Most of us are very immune to it in ourselves, but it does start with yourself so that you can actually see yourself as part of this same whole or the same goodness that we're all connected.
Molly McKinley: I don't know, it's a hard conversation to have, right? As business professionals, because these are kinds of conversations that you have with friends behind closed doors because it's a vulnerable conversation.
Bill Risser: Right.
Molly McKinley: Right? Because we're sort of exposing ourselves. Again, I think the fear in having these conversations publicly is the fact that we all have such different paradigms that have brought us to belief systems, and this is not an exclusive belief system. This applies to every single person on this planet. There is something that animates us all outside of just the senses, and what is that thing?
Bill Risser: Wow. So, so Molly, let me ask you a question. I'll ask questions because I'll...
Molly McKinley: Yes, yes.
Bill Risser:In your opinion, how does one become more aware of that spark, or whatever we want to call it, that light-
Molly McKinley: The "Self" with the "S," capital "S."
Bill Risser:The "Self" with the "S." Yeah, how do you even begin? What would you say to somebody that you think needs to have that exploration? How do they do that?
Molly McKinley: So again, this is going to become the yoga hour.
Bill Risser: No problem.
Molly McKinley: Again, just to level set with the listeners here too: that is my point of reference. I am a yoga teacher; I'm working on my yoga master's. This is my point of reference, and it could be different for everyone but this is just where I come to. This doesn't make it right for everyone, but it is my lens from how I see the world. Prayer is when you talk to the universe. Meditation is when you listen to the universe, and there is a step before meditation and it is called "dharana.” The idea is single-minded focus. Most people can't focus and can't pull their senses into focus; therefore, mediation will always be a challenge for them, but it really starts on a singular focus. What do I mean by that? Like a quick tutorial. When we go to sit and quiet the mind so that we can listen, one of the tools that we used to craft that ability to mediate is to stare at a candle flame.
Molly McKinley: If you were to put a candle flame at eye level so that you can watch and gaze at the candle flame, and then you close your eyes and just try to hold the flicker of the flame or the imprint, reflection of the flame in the space between the brows until it goes. Then you open your eyes and then you hold the candle flame again, close the eyes, try to hold the imprint in the space between the brows. You just do that over and over again. What we're doing is we are training the mind to be able to focus on a single item. One thing. Typically, what happens is we'll be holding the flame and then we'll start to grocery shop or we'll start to think about the conversation that we had with our coworker. We do all of the things, that's the monkey mind-
Bill Risser: Right.
Molly McKinley: But when we hold that one-pointed focus, that is the start of a meditation practice, but first you have to do the work to prepare the mind to focus so that you can then sit and listen. That is when we identify with the Self. Does that make sense?
Bill Risser: It does. No, it absolutely does. Once again, I'm going to bring real estate back into this. It's weird-
Molly McKinley: Yeah, do. Let's do it.
Bill Risser: But I just did a podcast interview with Matt Beall-
Molly McKinley: Okay yeah, Matt's amazing.
Bill Risser: Yeah, the CEO and founder of Hawaii Life and an incredible guy. I didn't know this, but he went on a two-year journey around the world with a buddy, just a self-exploration kind of thing, before he came back and became a realtor in Hawaii. I asked that same question I ask every guest on the podcast: "What one piece of advice would you give a new agent just getting started in the business?" He very unapologetically said, "Learn how to meditate. Learn how to focus so you can be better at what you do."
Molly McKinley: That's right. Let's pull this outside of any kind of spiritual practice, right, and pull it into a practical practice.
Bill Risser: Sure.
Molly McKinley: The reason why that matters is because our world is so, so noisy right now. Our energies are fractured. With meditation and this type of single-pointed focus, what you're doing is pulling your senses and your energy in so that you are more effective to do the thing in front of you, but most people just live in this chronic state of fracture that you're never really pushing forward with intention and purpose. Everything's sort of half done. I used to pride myself, that I could juggle 50 balls. As a PR person, that was sort of the aim, is "I can do 50 deadlines at once," but the data and the studies actually say that the most effective people aren't the people who are doing the juggling; they're the people who are taking on a task, focused to completion, moving forward, and just checking things off the list with purpose. That's what meditation helps us do, is understand and be aware of how much energy we lose by spinning. Pulling it in, making it practical, making it focused, and then the benefits of meditation are numerous.
Bill Risser:Well, let's see, so my checklist now with Molly McKinley the next time I'm in North Carolina is yoga-
Molly McKinley: Yes.
Bill Risser: And also mediation. I'm headed down this path. You're turning this grumpy old dude-
Molly McKinley: You are not a grumpy old dude.
Bill Risser: Well maybe not, you're right. The potential is there. Anyways, look: I'm watching the clock. We promised our listeners we don't want to go too far. I think this is a natural break-point. Really, that's great stuff. Thank you so much for taking the lead on this. I learned a ton in 10 minutes. That's amazing. We're going to wrap this one up, and we always like to kind of tease what we're going to talk about next week. Next week on Relationships First, we're going to talk about relationships in the world of education, and specifically in the world of real estate education. I had a nice little conference at NAR that we'll talk about on episode eight of Relationships First.
Molly McKinley: Episode eight already, wow.
Bill Risser: Yeah, yeah. Thank you again, Molly.
Molly McKinley: Hey, Bill, it's always a pleasure.
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