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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the book “The Tools” and discuss the second tool: Active Love.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Priming Exercise: call to mind individual or group of people that provoke or trigger you
  • We tend to want to change the outer world: “If only this person would… “
  • The Tools” from Phil Stutz and Barry Michels
  • Tool #2 – Active Love
  • The mental maze we get into when we can no longer think of anything positive about someone and why it is a form of poison
  • When feeling this way, how can we get un-trapped?
  • Joel’s personal share: how this tool helped him feel more empowered during divorce
  • 3 cues for when to use this tool:
    • Someone does something that angers you
    • You are reliving a personal injustice
    • You are preparing yourself to confront a difficult person in your life
  • The abstraction required to see this tool’s usefulness and why it is not about who is right or wrong
  • The experience of injustice: we tend to believe that if we are good, the world will respond well to us, and how this may not match reality
  • How to get out of fairness and the feeling of being wronged?
  • Higher Force: Outflow
  • Outflow: the infinite force that gives itself without restrain
  • Example of using the tool in a non-spiritual way
  • “Whatever we are feeling, there is something bigger” and how it can completely reverse our moods
  • Exercise Description – Active Love
  • Active love is not about understanding someone’s perspective, or intellectualizing the situation
  • An Attack of Love to rid yourself of the toxicity – why this tool is not about the other person
  • The 4 Greek Definitions of Love: Storge, Eros, Philia and Agape.
  • Active Love relates to Agape Love: the idea of principled love based on the sole fact of someone’s existence
  • Why people may resist this idea?
  • The noble story our ego tells us about justice
  • Active Love as an inner state, a way to take your power back
  • “When you show up from an empowered place, you have earned the right to show up in a way that represents you at your best”
  • Transactional Love – when love is used as a reward system and the risks that come from that
  • Active Love can also be applied to political parties, a boss, someone you don’t know, a religious paradigm, etc.
  • The desirable emergents you can expect:
    1. A way to get self-control – take back other’s ability to trigger you
    2. Assertiveness – knowing how to react before a conflict means you get to be more pro-active in your expression
    3. Acceptance – of ourselves and of others, and why you may want to start with applying Active Love to your own self first.

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  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • July 21, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    No, they’re two different concepts. Active love is effectively building on principled love, a feeling inside that uses generosity and sources itself from respectful love of the self. Cord cutting is a personal ceremony meant to remove the ‘invisible’ or energetic attachments we have to others that are disempowering or toxic.

    You can (ideally should) have active love for someone and cut their cord of influence.


  • Marilyn Simurro
    • Marilyn Simurro
    • July 21, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Question: Is “Active Love” the opposite of “cord cutting”?

  • Erik Bland
    • Erik Bland
    • July 16, 2020 at 11:56 am

    Hi Antonia,

    Thanks for sharing, I was not aware of aphantasia. I don’t think I exhibit symptoms of this, atleast to the degree mentioned in that article. I can visualize concrete things, such as people and places, but abstract visualizations are much more difficult for me (e.g. visualizing a feeling, emotion, or memory as a tangible object).

    I certainly agree with you that a lack of visualization of abstract concepts shouldn’t prevent action / implementation.

  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • July 15, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Hi, Erik -

    I understand your challenge. I recently ran into an article that named this phenomenon “Aphantasia.” (Here’s the article I read:

    I share it to some degree. I’ve had a terrible time visualizing. (In NLP modalities, I’m “auditory” and have a much easier time hearing in my mind and memory than seeing.) But I try to work around it by fully understanding the concept and using it as soon as possible in real life. Implementing and action is the best alternative for visualizing for me.


  • Erik Bland
    • Erik Bland
    • July 15, 2020 at 12:41 am

    Great podcast! With the current difficulties with everyone is facing, there are some messages in the world that would attempt to convert our fear or pain into hate – I appreciate the positive and inspiring message in this podcast that pushes us to be the best possible versions of ourselves.

    Aside from that, I just have one interesting observation…Joel and Antonia describe not just the outlook given by Stutz and Michels in “The Tools”, but also specific methods that the authors recommend in order to apply those methods. For the two tools discussed in episodes 338 and 339 so far, those methods seem to focus heavily on visualization.

    I find this to be interesting primarily because I don’t use visualization myself when trying to understand or control my emotional state, even though I am an INTJ, which some descriptions claim will often rely on visualizations in the form of “mind palaces” when exercising Ni. That said, I have no doubt that visualization is an effective tool, since many personal development teachers, coaches, and gurus recommend the method. But visualization is so foreign to me that I have trouble even imaging what it’s like to use it.

    But is that just me? Are there others that pursue personal growth / development but don’t use visualization as tool? Is it something that I should be trying to use?

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