Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Startup Geometry EP 015 Barry Michels and Phil Stutz

Barry Michels and Phil Stutz are two of the most sought-after psychotherapists in Los Angeles, particularly by creative professionals. They are also the authors of The Tools, a book that teaches you the techniques they use in their practice to help unlock creativity, decrease anxiety and to correct the negative patterns that interfere with your life.

In this podcast, we discuss the relationship between the Shadow (Carl Jung's term for a subconscious part of your mind that contains your inner shame and other unconscious material) and creativity, plus the three immutable rules of dealing with a perpetually changing world. We also talk about their next book, dealing with Part X, or the inner enemy that tries to sabotage your growth and development.

“But the worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caverns and forests. Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself! And your way goes past yourself, and past your seven devils! You will be a heretic to yourself and witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and villain. You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?”

Listen on iTunes

Show Notes and Links

Their website, where you can join their mailing list and learn more about the Tools.
Their Twitter @TheToolsBook
Pick up a copy of The Tools from Amazon
Read the New Yorker profile about them


[0.01.17] Example of a Tool: Inner Authority. The Shadow and creativity. Embracing your Shadow. Flow is your ability to tolerate imperfection. “Keep Writing Shit, Stupid.”

Viktor Frankl, Man’sSearch for Meaning.

[0.07.10] Part X, the destructive part of everybody. It prevents flow states. Outer Authority. Definition of a Tool. Giving your Shadow a positive message so it shows up for your next session. Sending a message to Part X. Changing habits requires inner and outer actions in the midst of the habit.

[0.14.50] Triggering the Tools. Using Cues. Training someone to function emotionally and psychologically in the present. “It’s easier than living the way you’re living now, because when you get used to intervening quickly in your own process, your free yourself.” Symptoms and vision of the world change.

[0.19.49] What do Barry and Phil use the Tools for? Reversal of Desire. Moving toward and through pain. Everything in life involves pain, but we desire to avoid pain. Alchemy as self-transmutation of soul forces. Socrates. Everyday problems become the Cue, but also fuel the alchemy. “Problems exist in your life to stir up these lower forces, but ultimately they exist in your life so you can transmute those forces into something higher and discover potentials you never knew you had.”

[0.25.00] Tantric Buddhism. Psychotherapy is not a uniform training program. Behind the problem is a wisdom. The right Tools for each individual.

[0.28.15] Cyclical quality of work. There is no Exoneration (illusion of an endpoint). “It’s not about cure, so much as continued work.” The Realm of Illusion. The Three Rules of Life: 1. Pain never goes away. 2. Uncertainty never goes away. 3. The need for constant effort never goes away.

[0.34.13] The Realm of Illusion vs. the Chain of Pearls. Part X tells you there’s an easier way. Procrastination. Scott’s problems with writing. Anything that means anything to you, that is the deepest expression of your soul, will be hard to write. Take dictation from your Shadow.

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
Steven Pressfield, TheWar of Art

[0.45.00] Introducing the concept of Part X to the public. Freud. Part X, the self-destructive part, is in everyone all the time. Part X becomes a stimulus toward development. Barry’s favorite chapter: Intensity. You gain by battling Part X. Those who win the war are those who fight it. Most people just fake it.

[0.54.13] Phil’s favorite chapter: Goodness. Plato’s higher world had three characteristics: Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. Good vs. Evil. Faust. Evil is real, but the modern world doesn’t believe it. Part X is your embedded fragment of evil. Good is not simply the absence of evil. “What’s inside a human being is a mystery.”


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