James Fish Gill

Aug 23, 2022


Radical Compassion through Radical Emotional Responsibility with James “Fish” Gill


pain, yearning, feel, compassion, people, deeply, relationship, express, validate, bit, compassionate, person, work, moment, valid, heart, love, situation, understand, relinquish


James "Fish", Megan Swan


Megan Swan 00:04

Welcome back to energetically you where we talk all things optimal wellness, abundant mindset and wellpreneurship. I'm your host Megan Swan, a wellness mindset and integrated wellness business coach and also the founder of the Sustainable Integrated Wellness approach. I help high performance women thread more wellness into their lifestyle, so that it becomes a way of life and not a checkmark on their to do list. My approach is custom and approachable because there is no one size fits all wellness. Today, I am so excited to interview Fish, James Gill. He is a transformational facilitator, heart coach and yoga teacher. He creates transformative social and emotional learning experiences that grow empathy, connection, and understanding in the face of conflict, complexity and difficulty. Fishes programs have grown connection and transformed complex into personal challenges in multinational organizations, businesses, nonprofits, and schools throughout Australia since 2008. You can find him on Instagram, which is where I followed him, his reels are always just a little dose of conscious relationship wisdom, and you can find him in his website www.leadbyheart.com. So let's dive in. Welcome, James Gill, please, let's start off by the explanation of your adorable nickname fish.

James "Fish" 02:00

So goes all the way back to being in the year one in primary school. And my best friend, Mike Reese. Hi, Mike, if you're listening. He he called me fish because my surname Gil, you know, so it was kind of a taunt I guess to start with, like a little, a little tease and. And I actually remember taking offense to it for a moment and then quickly realized it was actually really quite catchy. And I think as a six year old, I was really trying to find ways to be important in the world. And having the nickname fish actually for most of my life has kind of helped me stand out. So in terms of like the egos wanting us to survive and be a matter and be important. I became quite attached to it and now I can't relinquish it because most people don't know me as James. Use either.

Megan Swan 02:57

All right, well, I'll just stick the fish then. So I first wanted to jump in and ask if you you know a little bit about your journey and if you've always been so aware, and conscientious of the way that you speak to people and the way that you operate in the world or I know that we both share a yoga background so I'm guessing that might have been one of one of the sparks of it but it sounds like even at six you had a deep awareness of your environment and intentionality.

James "Fish" 03:38

Well, the short answer is no way. No way have I been particularly aware through most of my life in fact, you know, I think I think part of what has led me to stand in this work that I do, let's call it work is the extent to which I've caused pain to others in my life. pain that I would have never wanted for them but definitely paying that and union some of that pain still resonates out there in my community. mistakes I've made things I've hidden from people things I've hidden from myself. So you know, as Pema children so beautifully puts it I was you know, I've had a bunch of experiences that have broken knee open. They felt like they were breaking me. And it turns out that broken me open something's something's enabled me to stay receptive to the learning from making some really profound mistakes and some really painful mistakes in my life. Yoga has actually been a very recent component. I I only really started practicing. I want to say eight years ago maybe. And that was because I fell in love with a woman who became my partner. And she was a really wonderful teacher and I just used to go to all her classes. And it was in the breakdown of that relationship that I realized I wanted to keep yoga, very close to me, and then began a yoga teacher training and then I've been teaching for the last five years or so. So and, and also have been really standing in it for that time in teaching, teaching now on some teacher trainings, teaching a lot of yogic philosophy. So that, that has been part of the way that I had stayed open and expanding, I guess, from those moments that that that I created in my life or, or CO created in my life that felt so brokenhearted I've also experienced a lot of loss, like a lot of a lot of death through cancer, a lot of death through suicide. You know, going through divorce 10 years ago, the ending of some other significant relationships in my life. I mean, we've all been through loss, right. But I definitely think the reason I stand where I stand is, is because I've walked through that loss. It's, it's showed me a truth in my heart. And in the heart of all people, actually, that I, that was a little obscured from my view, prior to all of that. But if we go back to if we go back to being six, you know, my, my parents, although separated, were just wonderful, our wonderful human beings. My dad has since passed away my stepdad since passed away. My mom is wonderful, my stepmother has been incredible. And there was something in there in the way that they parented me, which, particularly my dad was just, he was just fascinated by the world. We used to lay on blankets underneath the stars, many nights. And he would explain to us the fact that the stars that were saying, some of them are no longer alive. And like he was just, he was just, he was very romantic. In the way he saw beauty in everything. He is to set us maths problems, because he felt like maths was beautiful. So I guess it's just been a combination or drawing together of all those threads in my life. That has led me to a place where I'm just I'm, I'm wanting to write a book, I've got no idea quite where to start. But I but I know the book is going to be about how to fall in love with humanity. Because that's what's happened for me. I'm actually in love with humanity, even when I look at the atrocities of war, and the atrocities of like, decisions being made and the impact that having I'm not, I'm not okay with any of that. However, behind all of that, I can see humaneness and that's what I love. And that's what I want to share with the world. Because I think we can move with grace. When when we move, led by the heart.

Megan Swan 08:38

What can you speak a little bit to I mean, I don't know how much it's really, I guess social media intensifies it, if it's like, really, it's such a new concept. But this, you know, like, there seems to be a deep division, or maybe we're just more aware of it, or it's, you know, like, amplified with social media. But I feel like you have a lot of very helpful ways to reframe these things so that we're not sort of defaulting to our knee jerk reactions have always, you know, sitting in us versus them scenario, whether it be you know, like a massive political problem or in your, your personal relationship.

James "Fish" 09:27

Yeah. Well, the first thing it is, that's important to do is to for us all to validate the fact that the oppositional dynamic that we often find ourselves in is actually 100% Natural. By that, I mean, it happens within us without us choosing it, and that happens within them whoever they are, without them choosing it. Okay, it doesn't seem that way. It seems like they've done it. And, and we know we haven't done it. So immediately that opposition is increased because it feels like why are they being so x y Zed, and I'm just trying to ABC. And so we we naturally, and this is kind of a, an ego mechanism, I think, really, it's just like, I'm a good person, and they've done something that's upset me. And so they must be a bit of a shitty person. And when I go to tell them about my pain, they get defensive. So that's more evidence that they don't really care and that they're on the bad side of the ledger. And look at what I've endured. And that puts me on the good side of the ledger. And so, that oppositional place of, I'm the victim, and you're a bit of the villain, like, even if it's not, even if we wouldn't use those words, it's a little bit like, I'm the one who is worthy of compassion here and not you. And it's really interesting to me, Megan, when I, it because I post a lot about compassion. And I even might call it radical compassion, because I'm asking us or inviting us just if you want to, you don't have to. If you want to, let's, let's extend the bounds of our compassion, let's bring in those who we might not feel are worthy of compassion. And let's see what that does. For us, let's see what that does for the sense in my heart of opening and falling in love with the aspect of them behind their difficult behavior. So I call it radical compassion, because it's because there's this notion out there in the world that that some, this is a strongly held belief in in millions of people all throughout the world, that some people are worthy of compassion, and some are not. And I think that just points to the fact that we have a boundary to our compassion over which we won't we feel uncomfortable to step and that's valid. It's just that we, it's our boundary, that I think someone's such and such is, that's a decision that I've made based on my boundary, but I project it and I say, No, that's them. That's them. I'm just I'm endlessly compassion, compassionate, but they don't deserve it. But that's, that's me saying, I'm willing to extend compassion to some people and not to others. And that's okay. It's just that we get to determine where that boundary is. And you can expand it if you want, such that you remove all holes from your life, because you just feel into them. Now, here's the thing. As I speak to expanding your compassion, our compassion, I get messages, some of them really, really, very strongly worded messages about me personally. And they tend to be on the on the in the flavor of this your work is mass gaslighting. You're telling people who've been through enormous pain that they should just be okay with, that they should just understand their abusers. So, so here's an interesting thing about the mind is that we're so the mind is such an either or mechanism, that when I say, What did what might they have have been yearning for behind the horrible things that they've done to you, which caused you pain, people immediately feel like because I'm, I mean, I'm reaching into the yearning, and then I have to dismiss the pain in the and that's a great insight into the mechanism of their mind because we think we either are compassionate, or hold strong boundaries, or look after ourselves. And I'm teaching radical compassion outwardly and inwardly such that I can understand the humaneness behind anything anyone has ever done. And I'm very clear about what is okay or not okay for me and where I need to locate myself in relation to them in relation to that behavior. So I still feel open hearted it's that there's such a strong push back every time I speak about compassion because we, we hear it as they can, being compassionate equals being okay with what happened. condoning Yeah, yes. Yes, condemn or condone is the is the binary function that happens socially if you want not condemning, then you're condoning. And there's there's a whole third space, which is just acceptance of the humaneness behind what they did. And acceptance in me that I don't want to be near it. Yeah, Is that making sense? Am I early?

Megan Swan 15:21

Good morning. Well, so how much of your wisdom on all these things was came out of you having to find a way to get through this yourself on a personal level, a great

James "Fish" 15:39

deal. A great deal. I mean, you know, I've had the experience of, I've had the experience of bringing a lot of pain, like, for example, deception, I've been the person who's deceived in a relationship, and left my partner, absolutely, feeling betrayed and heartbroken and upset. And then the community around us has naturally kind of become polarized, and then I can still, I can still walk on the beach today. And say, someone in that community put anyone in that community, and, and they leave the beach. So so they are, they're still you know, that that's just an indication of the resonance of pain that still exists through what I did. For me, the learning in that is, can I reach into what's in their heart such that they might need to leave, which is a whole lot of, it's a whole lot of pain that in them that's alive in them, yes, I didn't ever want that for them. And it's alive in them. And if I was them, I may well do a similar action. So that so walking through shame has, has made it critical for me to get that what, how people respond to that situation makes complete sense. The pain is valid, what they were yearning for, that was different to the situation that unfolded is beautiful, they wanted the best, they still want the best, they also probably want me to see that they're still in pain. And that's very natural. And it's, it's so valid, who who of us in pain has never taken some action towards another to, to show the pain that we're in so that they really now get it finally, you know, and we might call those those actions vindictive, or nasty, or even maybe abusive. Underneath that, there's a yearning for their pain to be seen. So that that kind of situation, also, like being turned away from I was in a beautiful partnership. And without going into great detail, a very tragic event happened in her life. And, and she, and it happened while she was on the phone, she heard about the situation, and she quite literally broke as a human being I've never, I never got to see the woman that who, who I was in love with past that. And then and then she just kind of, it's like she became a ghost and she just sort of walked out of the relationship but over like six months. And, and, and that was one of the greatest heartbreaks for me. And so I had to, I had to use this approach to reach into her to understand her pain and to understand what she was yearning for in turning away. And once I could do that, I actually had so much love for her. And then I really had to turn to myself and say, look at the pain I'm in. And all my work then became focused on how do I attend to my pain? And so I did, I made a video recently that kind of tried to it was like a junk food nugget of this concept of like,

Megan Swan 19:28

we can the junk food nuggets of wisdom. I don't know. Okay. Well, I mean,

James "Fish" 19:33

Instagram tries to make like a you to have to make it into junk food. Right. But and so just to try and give a taste. So, the point of the post was saying that, you know, in in any situation of pain in the past, you know, where we're stuck in the pain of the past and I was stuck in that pain for quite the time when we're stuck in the pain of the past Just the mind tends to deal with that by naming them as a pain cause. And we can keep telling that story for months or years. You know, you're this, you're that you're like, poor me, I was in a situation with a such and such, right. And that's very understandable because we're trying to, we're actually trying to have our pain validated by labeling, and it's a pain point. But there's, there's two reasons that doesn't work. The first is labeling someone as a pain cause that is not does not open our hearts. It's not the truth of any human heart that we hate someone else. The truth of the human heart is that we love or that we're not quite open to love. But hate is actually it's a, it's a mistaken, it's a mistaken yearning for our pain to be seen. So if I label someone, if I keep labeling them as the pain cause I kind of stay bound to them in that pain relationship. I say, I'm not happy because of you. And if you could go back and undo what you did, then I'd be happy. So I kind of stay locked in the pain with them. And to the moment in the past. The second reason why saying someone's a pain, because it doesn't actually heal me, is because what really needs tending to is the pain in here. So while I'm looking outwardly and labeling someone is a pain, because I'm not looking inwardly, noticing the depth of my pain, and validating my pain, as deeply as only I know, it needs validation. And so for me, 15 months of journaling, about the pain I was in and how I was validating, you know, I would write to myself fishy. Like, it makes so much sense that this long down the track, you're still heartbroken, it still moves me thinking about it, you know, it makes sense to me that you're deeply angry. It made sense to me that you feel like crying all day, every day. And I would just write it on the page. And I would bring me that kind of loving presence that a father or a mother might bring their child, when the parent is in the mode of validating the pain of the child. That, for me became profound. So I got to see, for me at least, and I can only ever teach what, what vibrates Well, in my, in my heart. That's why I say take it or leave it like I'm not speaking the truth. I'm just speaking what what I live is the truth. I got to say that my pain, the pain that I was stuck in from the past was healed by deeply compassionate understanding of her the pain she was in and what she was yearning for behind rejecting me, or abandoning me in inverted commas. And deeply compassionate practice to myself, which was look at the pain I'm in and look at how much my heart yearns for it to have been different. And those four aspects are kind of the key foundations of the work that I do. And it's, it's, it's so I wish I could let you in on some of the sessions I have, because for example, I had a session last night with a woman in the US and what she got to say, when she reached deeply into someone in her life, yearning, the deepest yearning in their heart behind what I did that was so hurtful to her. She completely it was like this revelation. Now, in that process, we didn't say, your pains, not real, we said Your pain is deeply real and needs a lot of love poured in, and that that person was not intending the pain for me. And so, you know, when you become masterful in this approach, in order to speak pain to someone that you love, starting from the place of, I've got a whole lot of pain I need to express to you that you would never have hoped for me is that pathway to be able to actually share into an open heart in them. Because in that approach, we're dissolving this kind of mental and social construction that they have to be a villain if I'm hurting. Instead, we say I'm hurting because of what you did. And what you did was not aimed at me to create pain. You're yearning for a bunch of other things. And it did create pain. And can we attend to that? Yeah, sometimes I talk about this work is learning to land out love. Because there's a whole lot of ways in which I love you that don't land as love to you, and then I get upset with you that they don't and you get upset with me that I can't understand that they don't. So this is this conscious. It's a conscious assumption that some of the ways I love you don't feel like love to you. And so this work is how do I land my love 80% of the time now, instead of 40, or 90 instead of 80, or 97 instead of 90. And every time I don't learn my love, I'm right here with you the cleaner.

Megan Swan 25:49

Can you speak this kind of common theme for a female like to talk about? Because for me, I struggled with it for for decades. Yeah. Where I was just always, like, it was just so much easier to be angry than it was sad about anything. And yeah, I think it's, you know, the stun, North America, and I don't know if you'd include Australia in that. Culture is like our culture doesn't sit doesn't really teach us to sit with sadness very well.

James "Fish" 26:26

Firstly, when, you know, when someone when someone comes to me, and this happens very frequently, and it's very valid, it's very natural. It's there's nothing wrong with it. I do this as well. Someone comes to me and says, No, you're wrong fish, they actually listened to what they did. That is clearly intentional. They clearly wanted to cause me pain, there's clearly bad people in the world. And if you don't agree with you, me, you're just naive. But I get that a lot. And perhaps I am. However, every human being I've ever worked with, has discovered for themselves some ulterior intention in the heart of another that sets them free. Last night, on this call, I asked this client of mine, what pain was that other person yearning to escape from? In doing that thing, that was the moment, that was the moment she was just like, wow, now I can see how made wrong, he has felt. So the action he took was to escape the feeling of being made wrong by me, which is a universal yearning in all of our hearts, we will do whatever we can, to not be made wrong, or to let someone know how made wrong we feel. And what we do can feel kind of a bit volatile, or a bit aggressive or a bit like nasty. So when that when that situation arises, and it arises all the time, what I what that points to is a need to validate, validate, validate, validate my pain, the pain over here in the in the, in the person who says I'm actually the victim, and you don't understand. So validating pain is not what we have ever been trained to be masterful in. Maybe there are maybe there's, maybe there's millions of people on the planet, who are masterful at validating their own pain and the pain of another. But in every person I've ever worked with, there is this skill shortage in, in even even being able to articulate my pain, and then being able to validate what I've articulated. You know, if we go back to the yogic philosophy, of raga and de Vaishya attachment and aversion, part of the glaciers the experience of pain in us we will tend to will tend to make into a pile that were Yeah, that's valid to feel and here's another aspect of my pain that's not really valid for me to feel so you know, if I, you know, I'll have a pile that I'm okay with feeling and a pile that I'm not okay with feeling. So immediately we become kind of fractured in our, in the truth of our pain, we turn away from ourselves. So part of this work is just becoming more and more masterful over the rest of your life at noticing. What's the experience I'm having? What where is their sadness? Where is their fear? Where's their anger? Not why I don't do any I don't spend a second coaching people in Why is spend 100% of our time saying what? What is this experience in me that's just alive in me. I don't have to judge whether it should or shouldn't be because here It is, if I think it shouldn't be, then I'm in an alternative universe and I've left the building. So coming back to this notion, so we're not very good at feeling into our pain when not very good at understanding that it can be quite complex and incongruent. But they can be parts of that pain that don't make sense with the other parts of our pain. I can feel like when that when that partner of mine, rang me and said, We're done. I felt relief and heartbreak, I felt rage, and compassion. So understanding that our experience, painful experience can also be intermingled with not so painful experience, and how that doesn't make sense, it would be thrown out of court. But it's, it's our truth. It's our truth. It's like, sometimes they talk about it as like having a jigsaw puzzle spread out on the table. But it's actually pieces from 100 Different jigsaw puzzles, so nothing, you can't make a picture out of it. But it is what you have. So that is a profound practice for us. And that's one quarter of that kind of structure of my yearning, their pain, their yearning, my pain. So the more I get to validate my pain, and really have it be unquestioned, and really have it be wrapped in context, and really have it be said yes to, and really have it be said, Of course, I feel that too, the more I start to just feel like my pain can exist. And the less I have to say that anyone is a pain, cause it doesn't feel like I'm having to condone their behavior, if all of my attention is resting on that, how much I hurt, and how long I've heard for that making some sense. Yeah. And then, and then in terms of anger, it's really interesting, that kind of gender thing that happens around anger, you know, men tend to go to anger straightaway, because it's kind of seen socially, as, like a powerful thing, or a justified thing or an okay thing, a strong thing, maybe that's a strong thing. Anger is strong. Whereas women have a lot of difficulty can have a lot of difficulty expressing anger, or even feeling that they are angry. Because socially, an angry woman is like a crazy bitch. So it's invalidated. And, and conversely, men can have difficulty feeling into the fact that underneath their rage, lies hurt by sadness, or disappointment, or rejection, or a feeling of being dismissed. Because those more tender experiences in our centers, like being soft, and then most of us men grew up in a school environment where we were called, called a pussy. If we, if we said anything a bit tender, or anything a bit sensitive. You know, if we read poetry, we're a faggot, you know. So we've, we were kind of coached in turning away from that tenderness. And women do tenderness content to do tenderness a bit more easily because it's seen as kind of soft and feminine and appropriate. So we kind of get a little bit sort of polarized strangely skewed in, in what we're okay to feel into. Is that what you're asking about? Or you're asking about how to deal with the anger from another that feels so intentional in its directive force?

Megan Swan 33:57

No, that was what I was asking about. And I'm curious with your coaching, was it organic that you worked with couples or did you work with women first, or men first, or just kind of all happened at the same time?

James "Fish" 34:12

Actually, I used to work. I've worked for most of those years in teams like corporate teams. And, and that's, that was wonderful training, because I just got to I got to practice creating validity for sometimes up to 25 people with completely different experiences all at war with each other. So I had to expand my capacity to make everyone valid. Even if they were counter, even if they were analyzing someone else's not bad. I had to find the validity behind that analysis. So that was really wonderful. I got to deal with some really interesting personality, personalities, personality kapsalis a wonderful training. What I got to though was the more I, the more I became deeply committed to giving people with the experience of love in any moment in any relationship, the more I thought, What the hell am I doing in the corporate market, but because even even though the conflicts we would transform would be significant, ultimately, who really gives a toss about work, when you can come home to your real life. So it's very easy to kind of lose a little bit of motivation to really deeply transform anything, because Can I knock off at five anyway, let's take this right into the heat of the fire. Where were you lives have won or lost, you know, like, let's take this into the most difficult moments in our most treasured relationships. Because in the relationships that we don't really care about, we don't really have motivation. And in the relationships that we have, like, where love that are going swimmingly, no need for tools, what what about, we could try to experience love wherever absolutely gone missing in situations where it should never have gone missing, according to us. And that just lights me up. And over and over and over and over and over again, day in day out. I get to witness that love is underneath the things that we did that lands so poorly on them. And that love is underneath the things that they did that landed so calling on us. And once we can start to see in a namaste palms together, namaste. The goodness in me says the goodness in you. If my heart can see the yearning in your heart behind what you did that hurt me, with the capacity to transform the moment is actually kind of boundless. It's just the mind gives us this skewed story that because I'm hurting, you're a bad person. And I'm a good person, because what I wanted was valid. So the fact that you're expressing your pain to me means that's your shit. And then it just escalates from there. Yeah, and by the way, it's not just I don't just work with couples I work with maybe, maybe half and half, maybe individuals and couples, some of the individuals that I work with, are in relationship, and very hungry, to be the one who leads the relationship deeper into intimacy and safety and understanding. And some of the other individuals I work with are not in relationship and they are. They're hungry to show up to their next relationship with a power in communication that where they know that they can always leave themselves. And the other deeply understood no matter what happens. Consider that freedom. Like there's two. There's two what I've noticed is there's kind of two aspects of unfreedom in our communication. One is, there are some things that I want to say to you. Because it's just like, you know, there's there's upset and pain and disappointment that I just need to express. If I could express it to you, my heart would open I just feel so much better. But then the idea of expressing it to you scares me because I know you're not going to react well. Or I've tried expressing it to you a bunch of ways really kindly, really aware of like, I'm really aware, I'm not, I'm not being vindictive. I've just expressed to you my outset. And you still shut off or, or turn away or fight back or dismiss me or argue with me or tell me I'm being ridiculous. So, in those ways, I can't express what I need to express. I never get to express my unmet needs, which is the absence of intimacy. And the second unfreedom is that, imagine how it would be if anything anyone ever said to me, or did to me, could still leave me steady and open hearted steer and socket in the yogic tradition. resolute and sweet, sweet, steady position. Imagine if I could be with anything anyone ever expressed to me. And it didn't knock me off center. The reality is that a whole bunch of things that people have expressed to me leave me feeling misunderstood or hurt, or judged or criticized, they leave me feeling like this person doesn't care about me. Or, you know, they don't understand my valid intentions, they don't see the goodness in me. So what would it be like? This is what I say to people imagine, can you imagine the freedom in your life in any relationship where you get to express anything, and be with anything that they express? For me, that's like, that just gives me goosebumps. And in any moment that I'm actually able to fulfill on that, which takes still takes me a lot of practice, I still practice I still have to practice because I've got this mind that just goes into your a bit of a day. When I'm able to do that, I just noticed that every human heart in that space opens. And that's, I think that's a we're chasing, actually, I think we're just chasing the feeling of being bathed in loving awareness. I think that's it. I think if we could be bathed in loving awareness, we wouldn't need shopping centers. For alcohol. Like, that's kind of, it's just an because being bathed in loving awareness is the absence of being made wrong in the pain of separation. So yeah, anyway, that got a little bit philosophical, but I love it. Ah,

Megan Swan 41:29

one last question before, I'll ask you to share the best way to get in touch with you and all that. So the first category that you refer to, as people that you work with, when they're at a point of frustration, where they're feeling like they're the leader of, you know, having a more conscious communication or relationship and, you know, maybe they feel like they're planting seeds, and they're not being germinated as such. What are what are some tools? Or is it just all the personal work to be completely 100%? Okay, with whatever you're receiving.

James "Fish" 42:14

I love the fact that you've used the analogy of planting seeds, and they're not being germinated, like I've done the planting, and you're not you're not doing the germinating. i That's such a, that's such I'm going to use that. Because that it's such a skillful expression of exactly what the mind does. I have I have when I've worked with couples, before, I've had one couple messaged me, saying someone's not using the tools. And, and the other person chimes in on a group chat saying, yes, someone's not, you know, which really is an indication that I'm trying here, why you not meeting me? So it's very common, and also very valid to actor think that relationship is 5050. Right. Very, that wouldn't be widely disputed. But my approach in terms of the environment that could that we can create through our conscious communication is throw that out. What about 100%? Over here? What about if I am 100%, responsible for the environment, I create create for me and then in my communication? Now, let me distinguish responsibility from blame. I'm not saying I'm not saying it's your fault, that things are how they are. Clearly, that's a contribution from both of you. What I'm saying is the agency to till till the soil, such that the seeds that you're planting germinate, oh, my God, this is working. You have the agency to till the soil, you have the agency to create the ground of compassion, into which the seeds of your longing for things to be better, will germinate. And you can do it without demanding that they somehow show up differently than they are right now. I call that radical responsibility. It's actually just responsibility. But the reason I won't use the word radical is because it feels to me at the start, like, I'm having to do this for them. And I get a whole another lot of messages I get is like, I'm sick of doing this for them. I'm not going to do this for them anymore. Right? So that's, that's very valid to think that we should do the work and if someone else is not doing the work, then we should just continue to do the work but what that actually speaks to is in doing the work and then not doing work, my needs are going partly unmet. But nothing about the work that I coach you in is about your needs going unmet. It's wholly about your needs being met. But I want your needs being met, aka, the seeds you're planting to land in fertile ground. And just quickly, why the reasons the ground are not fertile. Because this person has a human mind. Which goes into yes or no, me versus you right and wrong. As soon as the moment of uncertainty arises. So count on the ground not being fertile in there. Because guess what, the ground is also not fertile in us when they plant seeds. How many times have they tried to express their pain to us? And we've gone No, no, no, I think you've got it all wrong. How many times have they, how many times have we not being able to willing to come right over onto their side, because we're waiting, it's theirs to clean up, aka, it's their fault. So once we understand the conflict, mind, once we understand the the ground into which the seeds naturally fall, and how and fertile it is, then we can go about cultivating fertility in the soil. So that I know that's all very sort of philosophical. So practically, what that sounds like is my love you yesterday, when you told me I shouldn't have got that brand of paint. It left me feeling dismissed and belittled as if you don't think I'm capable of choosing paint for myself. I felt criticized and made wrong by you. And I understand that that's never what you would hope me to feel in that moment, I imagine that what you might have been yearning for is that I get the right brand of paint. So we don't have to go and spend twice as much. And some of the frustration you might have been expressing was the young guy at the shop, should have known that because that's his job. So you were yearning for me to feel how frustrated you were at the situation, you were yearning for me to have chosen the right payment, you want us to have savings. So you don't want us spending money on excess payment. So you wanted these beautiful things for us. And at the time it landed like a whole rocket ship for me. Here are some of the ways my love the you might have expressed that to, to me in such a way as it doesn't didn't feel so critical to me. Could we try that? Notice that the cultivation of the soil over there, as I said, you're not the villain, you would never want the upset that is present to me right now. And I'm going to speak to you about the upset but I'm also going to honor the goodness in your heart. And then we're going to find a way together, how you get to land the goodness in your heart in such a way as it doesn't feel like an goodness for me that that analogy of the seed landing and not germinating, you not germinating them is so wonderful. Such a deep insight into this work. Because we go I've done the same planting, you're meant to do the germination. If I don't do this, maybe it's not going to work and you don't care. But the soil is barren, we can guarantee it the soil is barren because we have the mind that says right wrong, right? Wrong, right? Wrong, right. Wrong, should shouldn't like in every moment. So we have to, we have to lead them into a place where their mind starts to follow a different path, which is the compassionate part.

Megan Swan 49:07

So you're starting a course I seem to remember reading or you told me, Tim ish.

James "Fish" 49:16

So yeah, so there's anyone who's tried to put together an online course there can be a whole lot of things that kind of are barriers. I'm the barrier by the way, I've been so busy that my content creation hasn't happened as fast as I want. I'm wanting the online course to be at sort of, I'm thinking maybe September. So that will be I think that will be a six week, self paced while you know, like you get weekly admission to to the next week of the course and that's going to step you through. You're gonna do your own learning in terms of the progression of the tools without coaching support from it. But there is a little community forum where you get to know Post your questions and your struggles and your wins. So on top of that, there's opportunity to work with me in a small group online coaching program with just eight people in it, people from all over the world, in all kinds of different relationships, that's got the added benefit of the fact that you know, where the wisdom that we can glean from others using the tools in their lives is like, Oh, my God, now I get it. Like, I can have a participant not really quite get what I'm saying. And then they listen to someone else and how they've used it with their daughter relationship with their 16 year old daughter, and then they're like, oh, no, I get it. And at the moment, they're booked up until November. But stay tuned, because I might be releasing more. And then one to one. And also booked up until November but there's a waitlist, there's a waitlist for the online group as well. And one to one or one to two, if you're a if you're a couple, just looks like a 12 week program with seven individual calls like this, where there's can be much more personal attention paid to your specific scenario. But interestingly, that comes without the benefit of hearing how the community goes through this work together. So and then on top of that, there are retreats, I've got retreats happening in on the east coast of Australia, in July, and November. And I'm actually really wanting to go to California next year, and also really want to come to Canada, I really want to go to BC there's something calling me there. And so us in 2023, and barley in 2023, maybe about around about April, back input. So I mean, it's clear through the expansion of this work in the last, just even in the last six months, my life will be traveling all around the world, and meeting people who are courageous enough. This is the case to be courageous enough to get let go of your story. Do you know Michael Stone, do you know Michael Stone, the yoga teacher and Zen teacher, he's no longer with us. But he's Canadian. He has a podcast called awake in the world. And, and he talks about transformation as being transformation happens when the story that we are telling about the moment and about the person behind the moment changes forever. So consider the enormous courage that it takes to be willing to relinquish the story that has made so much sense. And it's been like a protective mechanism that says, hey, I'm okay, I'm not the bad person here. We need to relinquish the story in favor of an alternative story, which by the way, when we find it is much more deeply fulfilling. But to start with, we need to entertain the idea that we might need to relinquish his story. And that's kind of terrifying. Particularly when we've been in really hurtful situations where we've been heartbroken or criticized or left or, or fearful. So such courageous work. Yeah, but so I've just got to live a future where I just get to meet courageous people who want more love. Isn't that amazing?

Megan Swan 53:25

It's beautiful. Have you ever been to British Columbia?

James "Fish" 53:29

I've never. I feel like

Megan Swan 53:31

you fit right in here. Like you're gonna love it.

James "Fish" 53:33

And there's I haven't something's really calling. I've even been going on to Google Earth and just like zooming in a little inlets and mountaintops. And I'm just like, Yeah, I'll be there sometimes.

Megan Swan 53:50

Beautiful. Well, I definitely feel like we're gonna be me meeting in person at some point. And

James "Fish" 53:57

I love that. I honor the work that you do, and you know the, your fierce commitment for human beings. I really do and I feel privileged to chat to you.

Megan Swan 54:11

Thank you. So I'll share all of your links in the show notes. Unless there's anything else you want to point people to send you loving messages on his

James "Fish" 54:27

obituary, Alec Lansdale, they will add to my understanding to work. Instagram, James, underscore, fish underscore Gill. And then if you want to if you want to kind of hear more of these kind of interviews, if you want to go a little bit more deeply into each of the facets of my work, then if you go to lead by heart.com and go to news, then you'll be guided to the podcast interviews that I've done in the past. Lots of juicy things to chat about there. But thank you so much for your time.

Megan Swan 54:59

Thank you You we'll be in touch...

James "Fish" 55:17