True Connection: Stepping into the Red Hoop

by Hanneke Geraeds-de Vries, Kiloby Inquiries Facilitator

For a while I worked with bullied children one-on-one. It was very promising to see how, for most of them, suffering released easily by using a child-friendly version of Scott Kiloby’s Inquiries. I wanted to make this work available for more children, so I decided to start doing group work also. Oh boy, did I underestimate what that entailed…

I remember one instance, very vividly: the group of children and I were assigned a little built-in gym at an elementary school. It had big windows, looking out on the main hallway of the school. It also had lots of fun stuff within reach of the children; offering much more fun than my course, of course…

I had trouble catching the children’s attention, let alone getting them to look at their thoughts and to feel their feelings. A friendly teacher showed me three folding screens with which I created a more private and cozy space within the gym – keeping all the fun stuff out of sight. That seemed to work a little better.

Except for one boy. He just couldn’t keep still for long. He kept on exploring the gym – throwing all kinds of balls, climbing on whatever he could climb on, jumping on skippy balls, etc.

I was very much aware that any teacher or parent could show up any minute in the hall. I anticipated their frowning faces, imagining they would wonder how on earth I could let things get so out of hand. I was very much aware that I was responsible if this boy hurt himself.

I saw myself desperately trying out different ways to take back control: trying to stay friendly, counting to three out loud, saying I would inform his mother if he wouldn’t come sit with us again, ignoring him, and threatening with punishment. I’m not proud of it… Nothing really worked…

Meanwhile the boy had climbed to the top of the wall rack. While rushing towards the rack, I noticed the coloured hoops on the floor. We had done an exercise with those hoops – an exercise I came up with to make use of this boy’s restlessness. The idea of the exercise was that the children would jump from one hoop to the other as long as the music was playing. Then I suddenly would stop the music and, depending on what colour of hoop they landed in, they were invited to share about pictures (green hoops) or words (blue hoops) in their minds or what they felt in their bodies (red hoops).

I don’t know what made me do it, maybe my years of practicing Natural Rest, but I demonstratively stepped into the closest red hoop. I started sharing:

“I feel angry. I feel the energy of it in my chest and in my arms and now also in my cheek.”

I kept describing how the energy changed and finally disappeared. Now I had his attention! And not his alone. You could hear a pin drop. The boy started to climb down the rack. I didn’t even have to ask him to.

From that moment on we, as a group, could do inquiry together from this place of connection. We added a few 1-minute mini breaks with lots of movement. That worked for all of us.

Stepping into the red hoop woke me up from believing my old and familiar deficiency story of being not good enough as I am.

I stepped into resting with the raw physical sensations and out of the reactivity of using half-baked ways to try to get this boy to listen to me. Until then, all the approaches I tried that hadn’t worked only served to prove that I indeed wasn’t good enough; enhancing my fear that soon everyone would know, if teachers or parents peered into the windows, or if this boy hurt himself. I imagined I would have to take him to the emergency room and explain to his parents what had happened.

Until I stepped into the red hoop, I didn’t see that most of this was just an illusionary world, a-should-be-and-could-be-world, created with smoke and mirrors — all self-created as a distraction, away from my anger that was building up inside.

Unconsciously I believed that turning towards the anger wasn’t safe. Something I picked up in childhood.

Stepping into the red hoop brought me back in line with reality. Turning towards this what-is-now-world, resting with the raw physical sensations of anger, made all the difference.

By consciously turning towards the raw sensations of difficult ‘negative’ feelings instead of automatically turning away from them, we are a living example for children. The whole habit of buying into an imaginary should-be-and-could-be-world, and suffering because of it, would become obsolete. Imagine that! We no longer would pass this self-inflicted way of suffering down to our children. And at the same time, we would connect with them on a deeper level.

For true connection only happens in the what-is-now-world.

If this is something that resonates with you, I invite you to explore your what-is-now-world – to feel the raw sensations in your body, so that you can discover this for yourself. You can use this simple flow chart, based on the Inquiries, that I use in my workshops with adults and with children. If you are a (grand)parent, caretaker, teacher or coach, you can use it also to do this together with (your) children by taking turns and sharing with and listening to each other.

"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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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.