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Who Are You Really? Interview with Ariel & Shya Kane

by Dr. Maryel McKinley

Dear Friends,

The two of us were interviewed by psychologist Dr. Maryel McKinley and we thought you would enjoy the interaction. We wish you a satisfying month, filled with friends and family, laughter and light, productivity and fun.

Dr. Maryel McKinley: Ariel and Shya, you have been working with groups of people, supporting them in finding themselves for more than 20 years. Who are we, really? And how do we come to know that?

Ariel & Shya Kane: Dr. Maryel those are excellent questions. Who are you initially? You are a machine that is destined to act out the past over and over again. Who are you really? You are a being that is not affected by the past and you have the power to live your life moment-by-moment, independent of that past. What it takes to be who you really are is awareness and a willingness to discover who you are in each moment.

You are a machine until you bring awareness (a non-judgmental seeing) to your life. Until you bring awareness to how you operate, you will continue with old mechanical, unwanted behaviors, which will repeat and dominate you. But awareness, the mere bringing of attention to the way you relate with yourself and others, holds the key to freeing you from those unwanted behavior patterns.

Another way to describe the word awareness is an objective, non-preferential seeing or witnessing of the way you relate to your life circumstances, your feelings, your emotions and your thought processes. If you do not make yourself right or wrong for what you discover, those behaviors or ways of being will transform and lose their power over your life. When those mechanical behaviors cease to dominate you, you will discover who you really are; a being who happens to occupy your body, along with the mind, which dominates your life. When you are the being, the mind loses any control over you. It then becomes a valuable tool rather than a mechanism that keeps you repeating old limiting, non-satisfying patterns of behavior.

Coming to know who you are is far simpler than most of us make it. Most of us have learned that we need to be hard on ourselves in order to change. What the two of us have discovered is that working on yourself doesn’t work. We have discovered the effortlessness of transformation, which happens when you discover how to live in the moment.

Dr. McKinley: Could you talk more about what you mean when you say, "working on yourself doesn’t work"?

The Kanes: Certainly. This revolutionary idea was so compelling that we used it as the title of our first book, Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work, The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life. We have discovered that most people judge themselves according to the standards of the culture that they were raised in. Left unexamined, these standards then set in motion a climate of frustration and endless dissatisfaction with yourself.

Why we say that working on yourself doesn’t work is that it is never ending. If you are working on yourself, then your starting premise is that there is something wrong with you that needs to be fixed and you can never fix yourself enough to feel good about yourself. There will always be something else to compare yourself with and you will always fall short. If however, you discover how to be satisfied the way you are, you will have an excellent life. And, contrary to popular belief, if you are satisfied with who you are, you will be empowered to expand rather than being complacent.

Our approach is to allow a person to discover how to access and live in the present moment. When this is accomplished, satisfaction and well-being are the result. It is about redirecting your attention away from yourself as a problem and getting engaged in the requests that life makes upon you, discovering how to be a ‘yes’ to your life rather than fighting with yourself.

Dr. McKinley: Does this concept work in relationships as well?

The Kanes: Absolutely. As a Relationship therapist yourself, Maryel, we are sure that you have seen this concept in action. When a person is hard on him or herself, then this individual will also be hard on his or her partner. If you are trying to fix yourself then anyone who hooks up with you will become your next fixer upper project.

Dr. McKinley: Yes, I have seen that concept in action, over and over.

The Kanes: This is why we wrote our recent book, How to Create a Magical Relationship, The 3 Simple Ideas That Can Instantaneously Transform Your Love Life. After more than 22 years together, we have found how to keep our relationship exciting, alive and non-confrontational. Most people, with the best of intentions, are working hard to have a great relationship and yet that very work inhibits what is possible.

Dr. McKinley: I read both your books, which are great by the way, and in your book on relationships I found many amazing ways to help my clients, as well as the relationships in my own personal life, including my relationship with myself. Do you find that knowing who you are is the real place to start in having your relationships blossom?

The Kanes: Yes. As we stated in the beginning of our relationship book, "When you have the courage to see yourself honestly and do not judge yourself for what you see, then your life will transform and your relationships will transform along with it. Transformation is like the philosopher’s stone in alchemy that was purported to turn base metals into gold. Transformation takes an ordinary, mundane relationship and turns it into a magical one." Transformation also allows you to know who you Really are.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, and business con-sultants Ariel & Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. To find out more about the Kanes, their evening and weekend groups in Manhattan and their Transformational Community or to sign up to receive their article of the month, visit their website at: www.TransformationMadeEasy.com.

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