A Soft and Open Heart – Vital to Spiritual Awakening

No matter what spiritual practice or tradition you follow, if you do not feel your heart area becoming softer and more open and loving, your practice or tradition is missing a vital piece of the awakening and embodiment puzzle.

I have a sense of where the missing piece lies for many people – the deficiency story.  At the core of every ego there is a deficiency story in the form of “I’m not good enough,” “I’m unlovable,” “I’m unsafe” or some similar story.  We unconsciously develop these false scripts earlier in life as a way of protecting ourselves from the deep somatic emotional wound that accompanies these stories.  Time and time again, in my private and group sessions with people, I find that this core story runs everyone’s life. The core story is a way of surviving, of keeping ourselves from truly connecting with others, of disconnecting from the deeper essence of love and goodness found in our beingness.  We are hiding, fighting, blaming, controlling and seeking love, approval and validation, all as a way to avoid meeting the profound sense of pain and fear that drives and keeps alive these stories in our minds.

I can’t tell you how many times (a lot) that I have worked or talked with spiritual teachers or people fairly far along the spiritual path who are still operating from this sense of deficiency on some level.  Their hearts are closed, locked up even.  They are focused on surviving and self-protecting, rather than loving unconditionally.  Many of them are carrying around unresolved trauma.  Worse yet, many of them say things like, “I’ll always feel not good enough on some level.”  They have made excuses for it and resigned themselves to always having it around.  They have stopped short of investigating this false story and its accompanying emotional wound.  And the price for stopping is quite high, for stopping leaves a realization half-baked.  It keeps the heart from blowing open.  Therefore it keeps deep and compassionate love and intimacy from being realized in every relationship, with every other person and thing on earth.  The price of this story is constant stress and anxiety in the body, which exacerbates disease.

Why are we so afraid to meet the pain of this deficiency story and why have we settled for a spirituality that keeps it in place and makes excuses for it?  The answer is fear.  You see, we truly don’t know who or what we would be if this story was to truly fall away.  A core deficiency story is the last stand of the ego.  It is the lynchpin that holds the separate identity in place.   Fearing what amounts to death, our resistance keeps us from deeply inquiring into it.

Become a skillful warrior.  Find the tools to investigate and dismantle this core story.  Find the courage to feel and dissolve its core pain.  Recognizing presence is not enough, for this story holds on like a wire tightly wound to our being.  It will fight and fight for survival.  But when you are a warrior, you will find the sharpest inquiry tools.  You will stop at nothing less than true and pure freedom.  You will not make excuses for keeping the deepest strand of unhealthy ego in place.

I have had the fortune of experiencing the complete dismantling of the core story “I’m unlovable.”  This story ran my life for over three decades.  The Living Inquiries were the answer to the dismantling.  I can’t begin to tell you how sweet and loving life is after the dismantling.  I can fall in love in any moment with intimacy with another person.  I find myself in love with life, with being itself.  Gone are the days when my mind would interpret virtually every word or act by another person as some sort of confirmation that I am unlovable or unlikeable.  Gone are the days when I would keep score on Facebook regarding who likes my posts or what teachers are more popular than me.  Gone are the days when my heart would ache when someone didn’t find me attractive or love me enough.  When this particular story broke, I realized that love is for me to show and give.  It is not for me to receive.  Desperately seeking to receive love, approval, attention, validation or acknowledgement came from the deficiency story.

Don’t you owe it to yourself to know who you really are?  Don’t you owe it to yourself to engage intimately with others, showing them love without expecting anything in return? Don’t you owe it to yourself to experience psychological safety wherever you go?  Don’t you owe it to yourself to experience that you are perfect just as you are with all your unique traits and odd quirks?

If you don’t believe you owe this to yourself, you are arguing for your own suffering.  You are choosing a false script as your operating system.  When that script is chosen, day after day, you’re essentially “fu*cked.”  There’s nothing you can do but continue to live out that script and all of the separation it brings.

Be a skillful warrior.  For more information or help with this deficiency story, visit www.livinginquiries.com.

Please share this writing with anyone you know who doesn’t fully love him or herself or who has stopped short of looking at this deepest strand of ego.

"Working with Dan has been nothing short of transformational. His open heart, honesty about his personal experience and permission to be real and not hide have helped me unlock those qualities in myself. And that has been a total game changer. I've been truly blessed, not only to have him as my KI Facilitator, but also as my mentor. Without a doubt, working with him has helped me to show up authentically, helped sharpen my tools and made me a better facilitator than I would've been on my own. I can't recommend him enough."
Darby Totten
Certified KI Facilitator

Dan McLintock is a Certified Facilitator, Trainer and the Co-Developer of the Kiloby Inquiries method/approach the New Model of Recovery along w Scott Kiloby. 

A Jacksonville, Florida native, Dan graduated Flagler College in 2004 with B.A. in Theatre Arts and English Literature and has played music professionally in bands for over 20 years. But his true passion lies in sharing the context, possibility and practicality of healing, awakening and release. 

Dan has worked one-on-one with clients in and out of the Kiloby Center since 2017 and has an unconditionally loving and earnest approach to healing trauma, dissolving the drivers of addiction/suffering and unhooking long-held toxic beliefs about ourselves, others and the world at large. 

He’s also worked intensively, side-by-side with Scott Kiloby for the past three years to develop the transformative tools of the Kiloby Inquiries as well as the principles and approach of the “New Model of Recovery” rooted in unconditional love and non-judgment. Much of this approach was borne out of Scott and Dan’s work with each other on their own personal traumas as well as their work with clients at the Kiloby Center. 

Scott and Dan have simplified, demystified and condensed some of the principles and practices of eastern/non-dual spirituality into an easily accessible set of tools most anyone can understand, learn and utilize to free themselves from their own suffering. 

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What is a Clarity Call?

A clarity call is a free 30-minute introductory call with a Certified KI Facilitator. During a clarity call, you can ask any questions you have about KI and see whether a particular facilitator is a good fit for you.

To book a clarity call, select your preferred facilitator (hover over their picture and click the “Meet” button). Then, enter your email and click “Book Your Call.” From there, you’ll be able to select your preferred date and time and schedule your clarity call (please double-check your time zone before booking).

Valerie Vinger is a thriving survivor of life’s painful challenges and growth opportunities. She has worked with 12-step programs and is currently a 13-year stage-III cancer survivor. Her cancer recovery journey started with the traditional “cut, poison, burn” approach but eventually led her down a natural path to healing her body, her pain and suffering, and her buried emotions.

Valerie first stumbled upon Scott Kiloby at a workshop of his in Boulder, Colorado in 2012, which she says is one of the most transformative experiences she’s ever had. She is filled with gratitude for the person she has become through her journey with cancer recovery and with the Inquiries, which she describes as “coming home to myself.” She loves working with people who are ready for relief from their pain and suffering.

Julianne Eanniello is a Certified Trainer and Facilitator of both the Kiloby Inquiries and the Unfindability Inquiries (formerly called the Living Inquiries). She is also a Certified TRE Practitioner, and the developer of the somatic movement process called Natural Flow Movement. She works with clients all over the world on virtually any topic, including spiritual seeking, stress, anxiety, depression, pain and health related issues, traumatic experiences, repression, relationship issues, and general unhappiness with ourselves and our lives. She does this through online sessions, deepening courses, workshops and facilitator certification training.

About Julianne:

For most of my life I’ve wondered who I am and why I am here. As I was growing up, no one else seemed to be talking about these things, or even thinking about them, so I buried it deep inside and tried my best to fit in the way I was “supposed” to, all the while feeling like there was something desperately wrong with me and that I needed to fix it.

In my early thirties, the death of a young relative left me feeling hopeless and helpless, wondering what is the point of life if we’re all just going to die anyway? This launched me on a search. I didn’t even know what I was looking for, I just knew that there was a longing – a desperate longing for something that actually made sense about life. I learned several alternative spiritual and healing techniques. I meditated. I read books and watched videos. I eventually learned of non-duality teachings, and I read more books, watched more videos, and even sat with several ‘awakened’ teachers. Yet I was still searching, something still felt missing. I was looking for the key that would unlock the mystery of me and of life.

In my early forties, I developed a chronic health condition that left me unable to work for several years, and most days barely able to get out of bed due to extreme fatigue, brain fog and pain. I lost my banking job, and eventually lost my home. I saw a multitude of doctors to try to find out what was wrong with me, and used every tool in my metaphysical and alternative medicine toolkit to try to heal myself. My seeking became even more intense, and I was looking for a way to escape my pain.

In 2009, I met Scott Kiloby. Since I started working with him and doing the Living Inquiries, the seeking for enlightenment has stopped, and the question of ‘who am I’ is no longer relevant. My victim stories around my health started falling away. Once I started looking at my experience through inquiry, everything changed. I stopped chasing something ‘out there.’ I no longer seek some future state of happiness or peace. This is not to say that I don’t have problems, or ever experience pain. Quite the contrary. I still use the inquiries regularly, and now there is much less avoidance or resistance to what I’m experiencing. I experience more and more freedom in the present moment, exactly as it appears.

Having trained with Scott, I was one of the first to be certified as a Senior Living Inquiries Facilitator and Trainer in early 2012. In 2014, I moved to CA and became a business partner with Scott at The Kiloby Center for Recovery, where we worked with people suffering from addiction, anxiety, depression and more for the next 8 years.

I can’t imagine my life without these inquiries. They saved me from myself. If you are still suffering, searching, longing… I encourage you to give this a try.

As a young child I saw a picture of Jesus gazing lovingly at some children around his feet. I immediately longed for the unconditional love I saw in his gaze. At the same time, I was being read fairy tales, like Cinderella, and came to believe that romantic love would satisfy that longing for love.

So, I married my handsome prince at age 19. But then, by age 29, I found myself alone, as a single mother, with four young children. I was devastated and convinced that something was terribly wrong with me, to have ended up in such a predicament. 

I had learned to love and please others, but not how to love and respect myself. I was a “good girl,” and repressed my urges to have my own needs acknowledged and met. A wise teacher later told me, “We need to love everyone, including ourselves.” This was an amazing revelation for me!

Learning to meditate helped immensely to bring moments of peace, while I was sitting still, though I was still being triggered regularly in my relationships. Finally, the Kiloby Inquiries taught me how to turn my attention inside in daily life – towards the trapped thoughts and emotions I’d been running from – so that I could face and release them. It was like some tender, lost children began coming home, to take their rightful place in my inner world. 

I am honored and excited to be able to facilitate these wonderful inquiries for others.

Sumitra lives on the Hawaiian island of Kauai with some of her family. She has four grown children and six grandchildren. For many years she lived and worked in a yoga retreat community in California, and has taught yoga, meditation and Compassionate Communication in addition to facilitating the tools of the Kiloby Inquiries (since 2013).

Sumitra also loves working with couples and others with relationship challenges in a simple (though not always easy) deep listening practice that allows each person to be truly heard and acknowledged.

Alina is a certified KI facilitator & a founder of Presence Alchemy – An advance mindfulness platform dedicated to liberating suffering & limiting core beliefs through Kiloby Inquiries & non-dual awareness. Presence Alchemy was born eight years into Alina’s embodiment journey of an inner shift from ego to wakefulness. Alina works one-on-one with clients, hosts online intensives and training, and organizes local retreats & workshops.
Alec Rodrigues has been certified to facilitate inquiry since 2015 and brings a keen sense of intuition to his work. He believes that in connection, the deepest healing takes place, that the mirror of relationship is the best crucible for transformation. Through rest and inquiry, Alec has found the empowerment to meet others authentically and stop running so damn fast from the seeming “ordinariness” of life.

He currently lives in Washington state with his girlfriend and works as a training assistant for the KI Personal Mentorship Program, where he empowers enrollees by teaching them the KI tools.