Pacing | HA events


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Introduction to Pacing

Pacing is how we assimilate experiences in space and time. It can be experienced internally as a heartbeat or as the process of breathing. Since everyone has a unique rate at which they optimize their assimilation, we typically only do this when we are by ourselves. Some people are organized to process small experience units at fast speeds and some prefer large experience units at slow speeds. Distance and defensiveness arise out of a difference in our internal processing clocks. Different Pacing undermines our natural experience of closeness and unity. Common Pacing, meanwhile, supports our experience of being connected, “in sync” and appreciated. To maximize the degree of communication, we may find ourselves speeding up or slowing down to a Pace based on the average of the people around us. The greater the difference in Pacing, the more we end up operating outside our preferred comfort zone, leading to an energy drain. Many people find small differences easy to deal with, while large differences affect both people quickly (within 1 to 2 hours).

Pacing is “measured” on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 meaning the slowest Pace and 100 the fastest. The population as a whole falls in a bell shaped curve, with 50 as the center point. If there is a difference of 20 points or more between people’s Pacing, it means that the slow-Paced individual will become exhausted, usually within 4 to 5 hours of being with the fast-Paced person. The fast-Paced person will gradually, over this time, feel more unable to get things done and are personally not seen. The greater the difference, the faster the effects show up and the more difficult the issues become. Personal energy is the key issue to observe around Pacing differences. This issue also becomes more acute as the relationship builds momentum. The slow-Paced person becomes tired and drained, and the fast-Paced person becomes frustrated and impatient to see forward movement.

In various places within this document, we will be using the terms “slow-Paced” and “lower-Paced” interchangeably to reflect a person that takes time to process larger chunks of experience. Just because we use a term “slow” or “lower” does not mean they are inferior to their counterparts who are “fast-Paced” or “higher-Paced” individuals. While society may have its beliefs that fast-Paced individuals are more intelligent because they respond quicker in certain situations, both Pacing styles actually contribute equally. It is ironic that we have such a notion that we should be higher-Paced, when in fact we trust people more who are lower-Paced to make more clear and studied decisions. It is also ironic how while we try to move things faster, particularly in business but end up trusting those individuals who do things more slowly.

Remember, slow- and lower-Paced means that the individual takes on and interconnects more experiences and, therefore, is more holistic in their ability to speak the complete truth in that moment. Higher- and fast-Paced individuals, on the other hand, contribute by examining and trying out all the new possibilities. Their reputation increases because of their ability to deal with large amounts of extraneous data that has to be considered in the larger process. What the entire issue of Pacing comes down to is that slow-Paced individuals have a consolidated way of processing information so that it is all inter-related versus fast-Paced individuals have a faster way to move through information on the periphery of things to make sure all the bases are covered.

These differences in processing experience would not be difficult if it were not for the fact that each energetically gets fed in a different way and that conflicts between the two types tend to de-energize both. The motivation for slow-Paced individuals is to bring everything back to the source and connect all things together. This means that our cycle time is slower. The motivation for fast-Paced individuals is to keep covering new territory, which means we would become bored if we were operating from a central place. Operating on the periphery makes us feel that we have advanced warning about changes to come, which motivates us to keep seeking out new possibilities. At the core of these motivations is that lower-Paced individuals are more safety oriented, while higher-Paced individuals are more security oriented.

We can use this information to determine where we fall on the curve. For instance, if we feel we struggle to keep up with many of our friends or become exhausted over time, then we are probably lower-Paced. If we feel frustrated that people are not keeping up with us, or we get irritated that they are not completing their thoughts quickly enough, then we are likely higher-Paced. Simply put, if we are completing others’ sentences, we are higher-Paced; if they are completing ours, we are lower-Paced.

Pacing may also be confusing because slow-Paced people who have studied subjects intensively may appear more fast-Paced than they actually are. The key distinction is that Pacing relates to new assimilation experiences, not re-hashed experiences where individuals may operate faster or slower. In business conversations, we may also get feedback loops where we feel out-of-sync with the group. This indicates our relative degree of comfort with the material and our own ability to anchor ourselves in the process. The longer a group works together, the easier it is for us to find our own place in the group, and to resonate with the group process that works best for everyone. Unfortunately, this also means that some individuals who feel disconnected from the group may become scapegoats of the group. We will go into greater detail about this later.

Pacing typically shows up in romantic relationships on the 3rd to 5th date when we start spending a lot more time together. Typically, both parties experience the feeling, but fail to communicate about it because it could be interpreted critically. Pacing is an important factor to consider because it affects the energetic integrity of the relationship. When Pacing is the same, individuals consistently report the experience of “coming home.” Pacing within 5 points is optimal for compatibility. Pacing within 20 points is considered “workable.” Pacing differences of more than 20 points will need special consideration and support to be maintained.

Not feeling comfortable with another after a few hours together could indicate a Pacing difference. Pacing differences can show up as feelings of irritation, nervousness, distance, and criticism instead of easy relations. The greater the difference, the more each partner will perceive that they are being judged by the other, even if it is not true. Individuals with a Distant Defense Style are particularly sensitive to Pacing differences. One way around this is to acknowledge the difference and without taking it personally talk about it in terms of energy. With a large difference in Pacing, we may not want to spend more than an hour a day with that person.

If Pacing differences exist with our partner, we would be best advised to establish separate areas of our house to be able to settle into when we need to rest. We might find it necessary to sleep in separate bedrooms, as we may not be able to sleep well together. We will find that if we honor each other’s space in this way, our time together will be more fun, creative and uplifting. The instinctive factors of World View and Defensive Style affect the appearance of Pacing. Individuals doing Outer Success or Relationship lessons will typically seem higher-Paced than they actually are. Conversely, individuals completing Safety & Security and Inner Success lessons will tend to appear lower-Paced than they are. In a similar way, Dynamic-wounding will create an appearance of higher-Pace and Disarming will appear lower.

The more Pacing differences are institutionalized in business settings by placing people of different Paces by each other, the less productive the group will be. We have discovered that locating people in groups that are aligned in the Pacing can make it extremely more effective for people to be seen in their own Pacing. When individuals with a certain Pacing are around individuals that have less than a 10-point difference, they can become more naturally balancing for one another, so that their energy is higher throughout the whole day. When you have people of opposite Pacing working next to each other, it causes them to unconsciously fight each other for space, reducing the ability to focus on the work in front of them.

Experience Assimilation Speed and Depth

We make tradeoffs between the depth of assimilation and the speed of assimilation of new thoughts, feelings/emotions and sensations. Our goal internally is to discover the best way to assimilate a particular experience. There are two basic choices we can make that reflect a continuum of potential positions about what works for us. We identify this continuum as a scale between 0 (slowest) and 100 (fastest) with 50 being the mid-point. Slower paced individuals take more time and absorb more in a single sequence. Faster paced individuals layer the assimilation of each sequence to process quicker. This difference does not in any way reflect the degree of intelligence, even though culturally it is assumed that faster pace individuals are smarter. Pacing differences are the main invisible energetic difference that can bring us to our knees (if not understood) or empower us to unify with others when we do.

Looking At Pacing On A Deeper Level

Pacing refers to the speed at which individuals cycle through their process sequence (i.e., Think, Feel, Act). This means that individuals have to complete all three elements of their process to finish a Pacing cycle. Unfortunately, because of wounding and/or imprinting, most people don’t honor their natural timing, which causes them to accelerate and leads to distancing, fatigue and boredom. All imprinting interferes with the ability to be our authentic selves. When we learn to be with others in the way they want us to, we end up separating from our true selves, which results in greater distortions in our Pacing and Process. For example, we might end up spending three to six cycles in an emotional sequence if we are a Think, Feel, Act because we are feeling vulnerable. This is because we either get stuck looking for validation from someone else or we second guess ourselves and switch back and forth between various processes because of different imprinting. The effect elongates each of the steps within a process, which, with self-acceptance and healing, begin to occur simultaneously with each other.

One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is start to recognize those people in our life that have the same Pacing as us. With similar Pacing we can stay with these people indefinitely without becoming tired or feeling frustrated. The experience of not being met or not being able to hold a creative connection with someone more than two to six hours is common. In such situations, fast-Paced people have an increasing sense of frustration, while slow-Paced people are gradually exhausted and end up collapsing. Both of these outcomes demonstrate that we need to manage our energy more effectively and remove ourselves from the situation when our energy or frustration level impacts our ability to remain and communicate effectively with these people. Unfortunately, we can even become more confused when we try to create a unique communication pattern (unconsciously based on various imprinting) with each person.

It is important to recognize that our natural Pacing takes place when we are most creative. While this cycle speed could be reflected in how fast someone speaks, it is not necessarily directly linked. For example, if we are completely familiar with a topic, we could speak about it extremely quickly, appearing to be very fast-paced, whereas our actual Pacing may be lower-Paced (Larry, for example). Pacing shows up most clearly and authentically when we are in a creative process doing things we’ve never done before. It is only in this situation that inner Pacing is manifested in a congruent way with outer demonstration of Pacing. Sadly, many people attempt to be faster-paced, incorrectly believing that speed is connected with intelligence.

The more we become clear about our true Pacing, the more we can satisfy ourselves by being really met by people with similar Pacing. This allows us to find our own energetic comfort zone, allowing us then to know what it is like to be met and feel at home in our bodies. With this awareness, it becomes easier to develop greater flexibility in Pacing so we can meet others where they are. It also then becomes possible to start adapting our Pacing toward a mid-range slowly over a period of years, developing additional flexibility and ability to be with others.

Slow or Lower Pacing (Below 45)

When exposed to fast-Paced individuals for any length of time, slow-Paced individuals can become burned out and exhausted (usually after more than 4 hours). While as slow-Paced people, we tend to be physically grounded and at ease with our physical self-expression, we usually have to put more effort and attention into our spiritual growth. We also tend to be “context builders” on emotional and/or mental levels. We take a theme then develop and continually add to it over a period of time. As slow-Paced individuals, we are basically integrators who see ourselves as the central anchor.

Usually, lower-Paced individuals have a more big-picture perspective that comes from working with ideas in bigger chunks. We seek first to get individuals organized in our thought process, building the foundation wide, so that others can later build or add onto the process. We particularly become Resistant when others require that we change our anchor or point of view. In a way, lower-Paced individuals want agreement about the ideas and concepts we are providing as a foundation and want others to engage us where we are, rather than chase after ideas and differences or try to build high before the foundation is completed. As lower-Paced individuals, we are not open to new ideas or concepts unless it provides a missing piece to the puzzle. Often we have much more difficulty putting our ideas together in the moment. Lower-Paced individuals are “content-exploders” because we ignore or don’t integrate information if it is not in agreement with our bigger picture. We seek more stability and are more interested in the larger structures of the ideas then in the details.

The more we are not accepted in our slow-Paced mode of operating, the more Resistance we build up to others trying to encourage us to be faster. What we are protecting ourselves from is being thrown off balance or losing ourselves by trying to keep up with others. Resistance indicates that, as a child, we weren’t seen or appreciated in our slow-Pace. Instead, we most likely felt judged and made wrong, or even were considered dumb, because we did not respond quickly. From this experience, we started believing that others had malicious or negative motivations. It was easy to fall into the trap of believing that they didn’t want us to succeed, when all they were really doing was ignoring our contribution as a calm and grounded center of collected activity.


Slow-Paced Individuals (some Resistance)

Alfred Hitchcock – director, known for suspense movies.
Mario Cuomo – Former Governor of the State of New York.
Charles Bronson – Actor.
Martin Luther King – Black civil rights activist in the 1960’s.
Winston Churchill – Prime Minister of Great Britain during WWII.
George Foreman – Former U.S. boxing champion.
John Wayne – Actor, known for numerous movies/westerns in the 1950’s & 60’s.
Aristotle Onassis – Shipping magnate.
Mao Ze Dong – Founder of the Chinese communist government.
Martin Luther – Leader of the Protestant Reformation.
Fidel Castro – Revolutionary and head of the government of Cuba.


Slow-Paced Individuals with Fast-Paced Imprinting (considerable Intensity)

Burt Reynolds – Actor, known for the movie, “Smokey and the Bandit.”
Arsenio Hall – Actor, former talk show host.
Clint Eastwood – Actor, known for recent movie, “Bloodwork.”
Gene Hackman – Actor, known for movie, “Behind Enemy Lines.”
Bruce Willis – Actor, known for movie, “Diehard.”
Robert Bork – Judge; failed Supreme Court nominee.
John Ritter – Actor, known for T.V. show, “Three’s Company.”
Paul Hogan – Actor, known for his role as Crocodile Dundee.
Donald Sutherland – Actor, known for his role on “Mash.”
Danny DeVito – Comedian, actor, known for his role on “Taxi.”
Fred Astaire – Dancer and Actor.
Sylvester Stallone – Actor, known for the movie, “Rocky.”
George Bush Jr. – Current U.S. President.
Chevy Chase – Comedian, Actor, known for movie, “Vacation.”
Nick Nolte – Actor, known for movie, “48 Hours.”
Bob Hope – Comedian, Actor, host of numerous USO Shows.

Fast or Higher Pacing (Above 55)

Higher-Paced individuals can become bored and impatient easily with lower-Paced individuals. We need to learn that our gift is to inspire and uplift people which, for us, does not require much time. As higher-Paced individuals, we also tend to automatically focus on our spiritual growth, but need to be reminded sometimes to ground our energy and focus and clarify our self-expression. We tend to be “context imploders” or change agents who love to take some icon, twist and turn it upside down, and then find a way to say it differently from anyone else.

We tend to also be “content-builders” where we put ideas together in new ways so that things can sync-up in the moment. In this way, higher-Paced individuals are always moving and engaging the process, not willing to settle down, for to do so would be to stagnate. This is why higher-Paced individuals like activity and fast-changing processes that can get things stirred up. While we want connection, we want people to have to reach for it.

When others are not willing to engage things at our speed, we disconnect, creating breaches of trust where the higher-Paced individual can become judgmental. This judgment shows up as being impatient or operating with a sense of urgency in order to get things on track. It is ironic that with all the “jamming” and/or desire we have to make things come together, we have difficulty aligning ourselves to the big picture that includes others. Instead, we use our ideas to make connections and hope for the possibility that this will lead to a greater degree of alignment. The more Intensity there is, the less likely that this will come to pass.

When we project intensity, it indicates that others didn’t appreciate our fast-Paced nature. Their Resistance or Inertia caused us to try to push through and overcome these obstacles. This reflects our fast-moving nature, and a desire to have people come into alignment with our own knowing in a situation. If others weren’t open or receptive to hearing what we were bringing through, we felt justified in making them engage the process. After all, it is for their own good. Unfortunately, the more Intensity we manifested, the more others would be agitated, making us realize that we have to pick our fights more selectively.

We also discovered that, if we were doing too much Intensity around people, they would leave us because they would get burned out with our demand that they grow and learn and be themselves. The real challenge that we experienced as a fast-Paced individual is that no one seemed to honor our intent and, therefore, we decided that we are justified in pushing forth our agenda. Other Pacing styled individuals tend to react to our Intensity over time, and therefore, we may feel that it is necessary to become more adaptive in order to get back into their good graces. This, of course, results in us repressing ourselves, which creates more problems.

Examples (C1): Fast-Paced Individuals

(some Intensity)

Grace Jones – Actress, known for movie, “Conan the Barbarian.”
Robin Williams – Comedian, Actor, TV Personality “Mork”, known for movies, “What Dreams May Come” “Dead Poets Society” and “Death to Smoochey.”
Janine Turner – Actress, known for her role on “Northern Exposure.”
Bette Midler – Comedian, Actress, known for the movie, “The Rose.”
Goldie Hawn – Comedian, Actress, known for her role on TV’s “Laugh-In” in the 1960’s and her recent movie, “The Banger Sisters.”
Mary Tyler Moore – Actress, known for her role on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”
Jerry Lewis – Comedian, Actor.
Lynn Andrews – Spiritual teacher, Author.
Prince – Singer, Songwriter, Actor.
Jimmy Hendrix – Singer, Songwriter, Actor.
Little Richard – Comedian, Actor.
Grace Kelly – Actress, Dancer.

Examples (C2): Fast-Paced Individuals with Slow-Paced Imprinting

(considerable Resistance)

Kirsti Alley – Actress, known for the movie, “Look Who’s Talking.”
Charlene Hunter Gault – Newscaster, previously on the PBS station. First girl to be racially integrated in a school in Mississippi under Governor Wallace.
Diane Sawyer – Newscaster.
Joan Crawford – Actress, known for the movie, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane.”
Lauren Bacall – Actress, known for the movie, “Casablanca.”
Sammy David Jr. – Comedian, Actor, Entertainer.
Spike Lee – Film Director of numerous African-American themed movies.
Pat Schroeder – U.S. Congresswoman.
Barbara Boxer – Congresswoman from California.
Woody Allen – Comedian, Actor, film Director, known for the movies, “Sleeper” and “Hannah and Her Sisters.”
Meryl Streep – Actress, known for the movies, “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Bridges Over Madison County.”
Jesse Jackson – Preacher, Political Activist.
Nancy Reagan – Wife of former President Ronald Reagan.
Jim Carey – Actor, known for the movies, “Cable Guy” and “The Grinch.”
Demi Moore – Actress, known for the movie, “Striptease.”
Jane Fonda – Actress, Political Activist.
Katherine Hepburn – Actress.
Billy Graham – Religious leader.
Cher – Actress, known for her role on “The Sonny and Cher Show.”
Diana Ross – Singer, Actress.
Madonna – Singer, songwriter, cultural icon.

Variable Pacing (average 20 point range)

Variable Pacing indicates variability in experiences with people over time. Avoiding the extremes, as variable-Paced individuals, we tend to grow tired and strained with higher-Paced individuals, and bored and occasionally impatient with lower-Paced individuals. Variable-Paced individuals tend to be integrators between the lower-Paced “context builders” and the higher-Paced “content builders.” We tend to see our job in life as bringing people together. Variable-Paced individuals are “intent builders.” This is because we seek to align around motives, if possible, before anything else.

Due to the fact that many of us as variable-Paced individuals do not believe we will be seen, and therefore, we do not believe in the outer appearance of others. Consequently, we tend to seek reassurance and agreement before proceeding with any plan. We want to know in advance that the person is going to be more flexible and fluid with us and be able to trust them in the process. This is because our motivation is to get into alignment first before taking any action. Both fast-Paced individuals and slow-Paced individuals tend to take pre-emptive positions that minimize our ability to work together. As fast-Paced individuals (with our “content building”), we think we have to know the answer before we can take action. As slow-Paced individuals (with our “context building”), we think we have to get centered and understand the big picture before we can engage others.

Optimally, it is the variable-Paced individual that can bring people together on an intent level so that the context can then be examined and the content dealt with. When as a variable-Paced person, we don’t align ourselves with our own motives with others, we can become extremely adaptive and end up being compromised in all of our interactions. This is not a fun or effective way to engage others.

The more others were not able to be with us and to get into the flow of our operating, the more we adopted Inertia to make them wake up to our power. Inertia allowed others to experience our ability to veto a proposed course of action; otherwise we would disrupt the process or make it difficult for them to succeed. In a way, we demanded their attention and consideration about where we were, because we believed they wouldn’t naturally give that to us. Instead of seeing how our variable Pacing could support others, many individuals didn’t trust us because they believed we were being overly adaptive in the situation and were compromising ourselves. Our response was to hold our ground more firmly so they would conclude that we were strong-willed and capable.

Examples (B1) :Variable-Paced Individuals with Slow-Paced Imprinting

(tendency to use Resistance and Inertia)

Henry Fonda – Actor, known for movie, “12 Angry Men.”
Johnny Carson – Comedian, former host of “The Tonight Show.”
Humphrey Bogart – Actor, known for movie, “Casablanca.”
Roseanne Barr – Comedian, Actress, known for T.V. show, “Roseanne.”
Anthony Hopkins – Actor, known for movies, “Hannibal” and “Nixon.”
Frank Sinatra – Singer, entertainer and actor.
Everett Koop – former U.S. Surgeon General.
Henry Kissinger – Former U.S. Secretary of State under President Nixon.
Brad Pitt – Actor, known for movies, “Meet Joe Black” and “Legends of the Fall.”
George Burns – Comedian, Actor.
Ron Howard – Actor, movie Director, known for his childhood role as Opey Taylor.
Ted Turner – Founder of “CNN” 24-hour TV news network.
Cary Grant – Actor.
Jimmy Carter – Former U.S. President; winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize.
Warren Beatty – Actor, known for the movie, “Reds” and “Dick Tracy.”
Sidney Poitier – Actor, known for the movie, “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner.”
Bill Gates – Founder of MicroSoft, multibillionaire.
Henry Ford – Founder of Ford Motors (car & truck company).
Elvis Presley – Singer, entertainer, actor.
George Schultz – Former Secretary of Justice under President Nixon.

Examples (B2): Variable-Paced Individuals with Fast-Paced Imprinting

(tendency to use Intensity and Inertia)

Jay Leno – Comedian, current host of “The Tonight Show.”
Morgan Freeman – Actor, known for movie, “Along Came a Spider.”
Richard Gere – Actor, known for the movie, “Unfaithful.”
Robert DeNiro – Actor, known for the movie, “Analyze This.”
Eddie Murphy – Comedian and Actor.
Michael Jackson – Singer, songwriter, cultural icon and entertainer.
Michael Keaton – Actor, known for the movies, “Multiplicity” and “Batman.”
Kevin Costner – Actor, known for the movies, “Dances with Wolves” and “Dragonfly.”
Walt Disney – Cartoonist, creator of Disneyland.
Billy Crystal – Comedian, Actor, known for the movie, “Analyze This.”
Whoopi Goldberg – Comedian, Actress, known for the movies, “Sister, Sister,” “Boys on the Side,” and “Common Fences.”
Cindy Crawford – Model, Actress.
Oliver Stone – Movie Director.
Sean Penn – Actor, known for the movies, “Dead Man Walking” and “I Am Sam.”
Tom Peters – Business consultant, Author of “In Search of Excellence.”
Joan Baez – Singer, songwriter, entertainer.
Liberace – Pianist, singer, songwriter, entertainer.
Oprah Winfrey – Talk show host, Actress, known for movie, “The Color Purple.”
John Travolta – Actor, known for the movies, “Saturday Night Fever” and “Michael.”
Tim Allen – Comedian, Actor, known for the movie, “Santa Claus.”
Jerry Brown – Former Governor of the State of California; past Presidential candidate.
Ronald Reagan – Actor, former U.S. President.
Bobby McFerrin – Singer, songwriter, entertainer.
John D. Rockefeller – Industrialist, founder of Standard Oil.
J. Paul Getty – Financier, philanthropist.
William Casey – Former Director of the CIA under President Reagan.

Mid-Range Pacing

Variable Pacing indicates variability in experiences with people over time. Variability is a result of creating more internal spaciousness or openness to invite individuals to meet us where we are or to meet others where they are. This capacity to choose or examine options with others is what distinguishes Variable-Paced individuals from Switchable-Paced individuals. Switchable-Paced individuals can do either high or low pacing usually in response to the opposite pacing in others. Variable-Paced people tend to avoid the extremes and grow tired and strained with higher-Paced individuals and bored or impatient with lower-Paced individuals. Variable-Paced individuals tend to be integrators between the lower-Paced “context builders” and the higher-Paced “content builders.” They often see their job in life as bringing people together. They are “intent builders” because they seek to align around motives, if possible, before anything else. This means that the source of their flexibility comes from feeling aligned with others, particularly about how to approach or engage some issue. Usually the more congruent they feel with another’s motives, the more open and flexible they are about meeting others with different pacing.

Many variable-Paced individuals do not believe they will be seen, and therefore, do not believe that the outer appearance of others is necessarily who they are. They tend to believe, based on their own experience, that there are layers that others will progressively reveal when they are comfortable. Consequently, they tend to seek reassurance and agreement before proceeding with any plan. They want to know in advance how flexible and fluid an individual will be with them and be able to trust that person in the process. This also allows them to make an informed choice about how and under what circumstances they are willing to work with an individual. Optimally they can bring people together on an intent level so that the context can then be examined and the content dealt with. When a variable-Paced person does not align themselves with their own motives with others, they can become extremely adaptive and end up being compromised in all of their interactions. Intent relates to how clear one is about what they want to do and how that matches with what others wish to do. Context relates to the larger scope or perspective of an individual and how congruent they feel with others to the similarity of their points of view. Content relates to the structure (timing, expectations and the nature of the exchange) an individual needs to engage a particular topic with another.

Switchable Pacing (2 comfort zones with 10 point spreads)

Switchable Pacing is the most confusing for others to be around. It is a result of having 2 parents with different Pacing ranges and we had to learn to “switch” our Pacing in order to connect. We have two small windows of Pacing range, based on meeting the patterns of two different parents. For instance, if one parent operated at 65 Pacing, one of our comfort zones might be 60-70 to meet this parent. Our other parent could have been 35 Pacing, so we will have a second zone around 35-45. We will not have any capability to operate between 45 – 60. Which makes Switchable Pacing difficult is we fit everyone else into the parental Pacing pattern. When we switch, we lose connection with one person and go to another. We are limited by our two different comfort zones where we can operate. We have less connection with other Pacing zones. Anything outside of the comfort zone is the unknown. This minimizes the ability to have these people as friends.

Open-Ended Pacing

The more we can honor ourselves as we are, the less protective and defensive we are around our Pacing. When we can always be operating in our Home Base Pacing and learn how to use the Common Neutral Ground consciously to meet people where they are, without compromising ourselves, then we have become open-ended in our Pacing. At this stage, as long as we have the energy, we can maintain an effective way of being with others with the different Pacing without causing a reaction within us. More about this process will be covered in the next section.

Individuals that have open-ended-Pacing have an ability to easily connect with others and bring out a commitment to the larger process in front of them. Typically, individuals who are operating in an open-ended way are seen as great peace-keepers and conflict resolution experts because we are not attached to positions about who we are. In other words, we realize that in each and every moment, anyone can do anything. This means that we can operate beyond our role-playing or beliefs about who we are. Usually this experience arises when we are either serene in ourselves and honor who we are or when we have enormous compassion for others and arise to unify various competing factions by being the common space of the process.

The example below of Michael J. Fox shows a person who originally was slow-Paced with fast-Paced imprinting who healed his Resistance to the Intensity, creating an openness where he could be with others. The example of Marilyn Monroe has the opposite background, where she was naturally fast-Paced with slow-Paced imprinting, she healed her Intensity to Resistance to create a situation where she could connect to others where they were. Every one of us, when we begin to know ourselves on a natural Pacing level, become more energetically sensitive to ourselves and others, which indicates that we are beginning to move into an open-ended-Pacing process.

Another way of identifying open-ended-Paced individuals is how synchronized we are in the intent, context and content ways of connecting with others. We are able to be present with ourselves, and with others without any compromise or sacrifice. As long as we manage our own energy well in our own environment, we come to appreciate the perspectives of others by being with them in a way that they experience and treasure. It has been said and observed that common Pacing creates a greater sense of unity and heart-connectedness. Many times we can observe this in the sharing of passions that occur where synergy is produced. It is also true that the more open-ended-Pacing we are, the more potential we have to be seen as charismatic by others. It is not what we do that matters, but how we are being with others, that creates this response.

Another way of validating that an individual is open-ended-Paced is how cleanly they meet others in a way that has a well-established context, content and intent. While this requires that we have cleared out our Communication Process imprinting and have become more balanced in our ability to speak our inner truth, the key issue is that we are not repressing, denying or avoiding the context, content and intent of others around us. Instead, we can be present in our own experience and articulate each one of these three domains fully with others without repressing them or denying us. This requires knowing ourselves as a creative being beyond our outer identification with the way we express ourselves. Until we discover our truth and can articulate it in a way that others can engage it, then we are still operating in a protected way around our Pacing.

Examples (D1): Open-Ended Pacing (no Resistance, Inertia or Intensity present)

Fluid, flexible and able to meet others without compromising self.

Dalai Lama – Exiled Tibetan Buddhist.
Michael J. Fox – Actor, TV star.
Marilyn Monroe – Actress, sexy star of the 1950-60’s, movie, “Some Like It Hot.”
Mohandas Ghandi – facilitated India’s return to independence.

A common misperception is that slow-Paced people are not as smart or intelligent and that higher IQ is associated in our society with faster intellectual processing. This is not accurate or true. Slow-Paced people are more thorough and considered in their approach, and typically more successful in making something happen based on blunt statistics. Fast-Paced people will be ready to move on before being truly complete, yet are more keenly aware of what might happen to sidetrack the process. Each type has its own style of intelligence.

Confused Pacing

Pacing imprinting creates confusion about how we operate and what is internally joyful. When we are imprinted, we are taught to find our joy in others being pleased with us. In effect, we are trained to discount our own personal joy and believe that losing ourselves in what others need us to be is a real contribution. Our compromise becomes the standard which minimizes our ability to operate authentically. When we ignore our true pacing we are always at the effect of our energy because we do not take care of ourselves. The result when we are actually low paced is the we are always exhausted by attempts to speed up, When we are naturally low paced are attempts to slow down keep us from using our intelligences effectively, producing frustration when things do not come together. We end up affirming the artificial structure we create and deny the way we would naturally show up.

Pacing is also highly affected by imprinting. If individuals is not settled, solid, or congruent within themselves, they seek to identify with what they are most attempting to prove. Men sometimes try to appear fast so they won’t appear dumb. They usually have parents who are faster paced. Women are sometimes attempting to appear more grounded and so appear slower than they are. They usually have parents who are slower paced. The key is to subtract out the effort they are making to determine their true speed. You will know their true pacing when the degree of intimacy shifts, and you experience greater trust and unity.

A lot of these confusions can be tracked back to our parents. For example, if we were naturally Fast-Paced and we had Slow-Paced parents, over time we would grow up convinced that we were actually Slow-Paced, even though we did not experience joy in being Slow-Paced. Remember, the joy we would experience would be in others affirming our contribution to them by being Slow-Paced. What’s more, when we end up denying our Fast-Pace and adopt the Slow-Paced imprint, it also means that we lose ourselves in a façade that prevents others from seeing who we are. Being cut off from the source of our responsiveness means that we invest in the apparent safety and security of who we appear to be rather than who we naturally are. Usually, imprinting comes in many different gradations based on our need to get the approval of one parent during a certain period and another parent at another time. Another complication is the amount of imprinting our parents were doing around Pacing. This creates situations where our Fast or Slow Paced experiences were received differently. Over time, we kept upgrading our capacity to minimize our parent’s reactions by adopting certain ways of operating which gained their approval. We cut through our imprinting around Pacing when we accept our internal cycles of thoughts, feelings and action, which optimizes our ability to both, deepen and broaden who we are. When we find this natural cycle speed within us, it relaxes us and we become more present with everything around us. We will not experience the need to be different from who we are, which reinforces the inner perception that we have come home. This is why we call it Home-Base Pacing.

Pacing Imprinting

Pacing imprinting can be most easily identified by the degree of resistance that low-paced people exhibit or the amount of intensity that high-paced individuals exhibit. The resistance is an aversion to being pulled into the situation faster than we desire, whereas the intensity is the desire to pull people forward and have them engage things faster than they are currently willing to do. Some of us who are caught in the middle and feel that we are being whipsawed back and forth between these two extremes may also develop a sense of inertia to protect ourselves from feeling out of control. This inertia hides the deeper sensitivity we have around different paced individuals.

We can easily identify if we are being resistant by our desire to pull others into a slower Pace and slow them down to a speed that we can match. This resistance tends to amplify the natural rebellion that we feel when we compromise ourselves by going at the faster Pace of other individuals. Resistance also indicates that the other individual is likely 5–10 points faster than they seem. We usually attempt to look even slower than we are in order to get others to meet us more where we actually operate. The antidote for resistance is acceptance, where we learn to move with people where they are, realizing that fast paced people are not out to get us. Unfortunately, as low-paced people, we feel run over by fast-paced people and can fall into a pattern of resisting other people before we even get to know them.

We can easily identify when we are doing Intensity around Pacing by our non-stop flamboyant talking without any breaks or pauses in the conversation. If we are operating with a great degree of intensity, we tend to come across 5–10 points faster than we actually are. Another indicator is our speed of talking and our lack of awareness that we have not connected with others before we began talking. The antidote to doing this kind of intensity is to learn to be patient and meet people consciously and present with where they are. Unfortunately, many of us who are intense in our Pacing have not been met as children and don’t believe people are there for them.

We can identify Inertia in ourselves and other individuals by the desire for consistency, constancy and stability. As children, we usually did not have a sense of stability and therefore seek to create it in our lives in our way of being with others. We do this by anchoring ourselves in the mid-range of Pacing and making others come to us. Typically, our sense of power is derived from whether or not people are willing to acknowledge us where we are. The effect of inertia is to hide our true Pacing (usually 5-10 points different) either higher or lower than what we really are. We chose our anchor point based on our perception of the mid-range of Pacing. For example, if we are actually a 40 Pace, we may anchor ourselves at about 47 and try to have others meet us there.

The more we are imprinted by fast-Paced individuals, the more we get impressed by the quality of Intensity because it is a sense of urgency that makes our parents feel we are making an effort to be like them. When we are slow-Paced, our parents manifest their Resistance, so it is our Resistance to them that makes them notice us. Finally, if our parents are manifesting Inertia, they don’t really respect or admire us until we can do Inertia back to them. This imprinting process causes a lot of confusion because it is not only how fast or slow we are operating that tends to make us react to others in ways that do not work but it is also our past experiences around Resistance, Inertia and Intensity that cause reactions.

Communication Process is heavily tied into our experience of Pacing and vice-a-versa. Intensity is the result of others resisting our content, ignoring our context and denying our intent. Remembering in Chapter 7 where we related Thinking, Feeling and Acting as content, context and intent respectively, we can begin to see how Pacing imprinting can both confuse and highlight our Communication Process. Resistance is when others ignore our context and end up denying our content and ignoring our intent. Inertia is where others ignore our intent predominantly, so we feel unwilling to validate them on their context or content. We can see from this that where we have imprinting in our Communication Process also tends to overlay or confuse our Pacing imprinting.

On the other hand, the more we clear our Communication Process imprinting, the greater freedom we will experience in our Pacing interactions. The key issue is to be able to see the difference between context (which is the framework or container of what we are accomplishing) versus content (which is what we fill the container up with) versus intent (which movement we are trying to generate in the container). Each type of Pacing has a natural Home Base that it both protects and values in others the most.

For example if we are a Feel, Think, Act individual, we will honor our context and want others to honor our context the most, because we are Feel-First. Even when we are repressed on an emotional level, it will become an unconscious motivation for us to protect the larger possibilities. As a Think-First individual, on the other hand, we will always want to be seen first for our content, and will tend to honor the content of others more. Even when we have Intellectual imprinting on top of our Think-First way of doing things, we will seek to protect the details or the information in the situation. Finally, as an Act-First individual, we will always respect the intent of others and seek to have our intent respected. Even if we have action imprinting on top of our Act-First orientation, we will always try to protect and honor the commitment of others to do what they need to do.

Pacing also is affected if we are imprinted in our process. For example, as Feel, Think, Act individuals who are emotionally imprinted, we will be more adaptable and try to conform to others, wherever their Pacing is. Due to our lack of perceived power, our Pacing will not be perceived as strong or be easily identifiable by others. Any kind of imprinting on all three levels has an impact on the strength of our Pace and others’ ability to honor us. Imprinting in the primary centering, however, is going to have the most impact on how we are perceived in our Pacing.

As individuals with a process of Think, Feel, Act who are imprinted in our thinking, we will be particularly sensitive to the Pacing of our parents by trying to be the same Pace as the person who imprinted them. This is the way in which we create safety and security by not challenging the status quo. The more we heal our imprinting, the more our natural Pace and desire to be seen at our natural Pace shows up. The more we conform to others and operate at a Pacing that is not ours, the less energy we have to be ourselves. Instead, we are typically always exhausted or being worn down by life itself.

At its core, the more we manage our Pacing, the more energy we are able to bring to bear when we wish. Energy management, therefore, happens the more we understand and allow ourselves to operate within our natural boundaries regarding Pacing. In other words, if we are low-paced and hanging out several hours with a fast-paced person, we need to learn to give ourselves time to regenerate before attempting to be with them again. Taking breaks will assist both higher and lower-Paced individuals to restore their inner equilibrium. The more we understand these energetic realities, the greater our ability will be to make things work in all situations. If we know that we are going to be with a fast-Paced individual and we prepare ourselves so that we can be there and are willing to speak our truth when we are tired or reaching our boundaries, everything can work out. If we do not listen to ourselves and end up losing ourselves in the process, we build up resistance, inertia or intensity to help hold us in the experience. None of this works for people, for they are all artificial defensive reactions to not honoring our natural energetic boundaries.

Resistance, Inertia and Intensity all indicate that we were not seen or accepted at our natural Pacing level in our past. Each one of these elements indicates that we were hurt by others not valuing or appreciating our natural Pace. It is ironic that we tend to be attracted to those individuals that further compound our fear that we won’t be seen where we are. Over time, these reactions become more defensive and more disabling as we begin to anticipate how everyone will discount or deny us in the same way. Our ability to grow is limited by our fears that we won’t be seen for who we are. Therefore, it is important that we recover our flexibility and freedom to be who we are by initially being around people who have the same Pacing as us. It is in this way that we release the defensive patterns around these areas and regain our fluidity and flexibility to be with others in any situation.

Identifying Another’s Pacing

The key in building relationships is matching Pacing or “tuning in.” If we do not meet the person or the group halfway, resentment builds up and communication is diminished. This initially takes finding ways to honor our self and to honor others simultaneously, operating at a Pacing level that is workable for both. Over time, we will develop greater variability by increasing our awareness about Pacing and the affects of Pacing. Initially, we gain the best ground in this process by healing our Resistance, Inertia and Intensity. By learning how and when to engage people when they are challenging by picking the circumstances that are best for both parties, we can end up feeling more seen, valued and heard by each party. The more success we experience, even in small ways, the more empowered we are to continue to expand our range over time.

While we can improve our Pacing variability (the range we operate comfortably within), it is challenging to change natural Pacing. One level of difficulty in relationships is relating energetically to an individual with Pacing that is very different from our own. The common range wherein most people can operate without difficulty is 20 points. This means that an individual at 80 and another at 35 would find it difficult to be around each other for any length of time, unless one (or both) had developed their ability to work with extreme ranges.

In all groups there are balancing/negotiation processes that automatically occur, providing a common Pacing where all can communicate. The higher-Paced have to slow down, while the lower-Paced individuals have to speed up. This compromise becomes obvious the longer the group is together. Eventually, the individuals at both extremes are worn out and must take a break to remain conscious. Balancing Pacing in an organization is critical to keeping people stimulated and moving forward (but not out of control).

Ultimately, the most effective process to neutralize all differences in Pacing is to learn how to create a common ground. This requires that we are able to maintain our own natural Pacing in our own personal space, while simultaneously being able to connect and mediate a connection with others in the common space. This requires a greater degree of consciousness and ability to direct our attention simultaneously in two directions at once. In other words, we are present in our own personal space and sensitive to what is going on energetically with ourselves, while at the same time also able to be aware of what is going on in the relationship space outside of us. Tuning in to the other person’s Pacing is greatly facilitated when we create a separate space for the relationship. In this situation, we don’t have to compromise ourselves in any way or deny our own energetic experience of ourselves. This allows us to become even more sensitive to where other people are and be able to read their energy fluctuations more effectively.

Any imprinting that comes up for us will of course create a problem, because it will be projected into the common space, creating a “merged affect” between us. This will require that we own our projection and/or fear that just came up in the circumstance, so we can clear it out of the way and return back to an independent personal space and independent relationship space. Any beliefs about how we have to be to maintain an image will also conflict with being able to tune in to others in their Pacing. Finally, if others can trigger fears in us relative to Pacing, it will also compromise our ability to really see what is going on. The whole theme is to get less attached to our Pacing and their Pacing and learn to breathe and be present in our own experience so our energy can naturally find an appropriate balance in the common ground.

Being with a Lower Pace

A lower-Paced person needs time to process or assimilate experiences, and will be reluctant to move on to another subject or focus until done with the current one. If a partner’s Pacing is 15 or 20 points lower, the partner will need to have more “private” time and longer uninterrupted rest periods. On the other hand, if we can imagine slowing ourselves down in the common ground and being able to meet them at a lower Pace, then things will naturally balance out in the common ground. Our ability to meet them will enhance their ability to meet us, and we will be more unified in our ability to work together.

A higher-Paced person can do the following to make a lower-Paced one feel less burdened by the relationship:

• Match breathing patterns
• Use or sculpt the silence between words and sentences
• Maintain a constant topical focus or context 5 to 20 seconds longer than may feel “natural”
• Associate deeply with body sensations
• Move the energy “center point” lower in the torso

Remember, we do not need to lose ourselves by going slower, just include the slower-Paced option within our framework.

Being with a Higher Pace

A higher-Paced person feels the need to “refresh” his or her space more often, and will attempt to do this by quickly changing topics, tones, conversational contexts, etc. If a partner’s Pacing is 15 or 20 points higher, the partner will need to “entertain” themselves with something not directly related to the matter at hand. On the other hand, if we can imagine speeding ourselves up in the common ground and being able to meet them at a higher Pace, then things will naturally balance out in the common ground. Our ability to meet them will enhance their ability to meet us, and we will be more unified in our ability to work together.

A lower-Paced person can do the following to make it easier for a higher-Paced person to feel less burdened by the relationship:

• Maintain a personal connection with the relationship—not the work or issue immediately at hand
•  Let them know, “I’ll be with you in a second. Let me consider what you are saying for a little while before I reply; I need to get a better handle on what this means.”
• Appreciate and delight in their creativity and eccentricity
• Move the energy “center point” higher to the throat and head

Remember, we do not need to lose ourselves by going faster, just include the higher-Paced options in our framework.

Clearly Recognizing Our Pacing Reactions

When we experience a reaction, it indicates we have triggered an internal fear that we won’t be able to live up to the expectations of others. We then create counter-beliefs or establish positions to offset these fears. People react to others by attempting to build positions so they can justify their greatness over others. In this process, we will attempt to explain why we have reactions to different Pacing styles. It all comes down to differences in beliefs and opinions about what’s right. Due to our past compromises, we don’t want to be compromised anymore. We will begin with the process of why people with similar Pacing have reactions to each other.

1. Open-Ended-Paced individual with Open-Ended-Paced individual. This has the greatest alignment as both partners have extremely flexible Pacing and are capable of working with each other under all circumstances. This alignment is further enhanced when their Home Base Pacing is within 5 points of each other, for this would permit them to regenerate with each other.

2. Fast-Paced individual with Fast-Paced individual. These individuals will likely be extremely good partners in any creative process. If any difficulties arise it is because of differences in the amount of Pacing imprinting each has.

3. Slow-Paced individual with Slow-Paced individual. This combination is also extremely aligned and, again, the only problem that will arise is due to differences in the degree of Pacing imprinting.

4. Variable-Paced individual with Variable-Paced individual. This combination is usually aligned with each other. The only problem that arises when there is a lack of flexibility in either individual, which supports them getting into role-playing and caretaking. It is also likely that their imprinting, if it is different, will be the major source of conflict.

5. Confused-Paced individual with another Confused-Paced individual. This combination is the most difficult because both individuals don’t know how not to compromise themselves in their Pacing choice with the other. It is likely that, in most situations, they would just go along to get along, feeling that they had no choice about how to operate in each situation. Ironically, since they are equally out of touch with themselves, they could have some degree of empathy with each other because they understand where the other person is not being themselves.

6. Confused-Paced individual with Fast-Paced individual. This combination has one of the greatest inherent conflicts of all the combinations. The Fast-Paced indivudual will typically feel superior to the Confused-Paced individual because the Confused-Paced individual person will feel pressure to conform to the Fast-Paced individual. In this way, there is likely to be considerable role-playing and projection about how unfair the Fast-Paced person is.

7. Confused-Paced individual with Variable-Paced individual. While there may be some empathy and understanding between these two people, the Variable-Paced individual will likely be the one calling the shots. In this situation, the Variable-Paced individual has to be more flexible and find ways of engaging the Confused-Paced individual in order to make it a worthwhile process. Otherwise, the Confused-Paced individual will do their own thing without coordinating themselves with the Variable-Paced individual.

8. Confused-Paced individual with Slow-Paced individual. This combination is not very good because the Slow-Paced individual has to be flexible, defining themselves in terms of the Confused-Paced individual in order to generate any real results. If the Confused-Paced individual goes fast in order to overwhelm the Slow-Paced individual, it is likely to cause a breakdown in the relationship. Otherwise, the Confused-Paced individual could become belligerent by the differences in the way the Slow-Paced individual operates. This is because truly Slow-Paced individuals are traditionally misunderstood in our society and not appreciated for their strength. A Confused-Paced individual would feel the most out of place and not know how to engage a Slow-Paced individual if the Slow-Paced individual did not give them a framework in which to do so.

9. Variable-Paced individual with Slow-Paced individual. This combination is fairly open and resourceful as long as the Variable-Paced individual doesn’t have a tremendous amount of Fast-Paced imprinting. Both individuals will feel able to engage each other and hold their own points of view. It is also likely they will treat each other as equals, which is very helpful in minimizing some of the imprinting reactions.

10. Variable-Paced individual with Fast-Paced individual. This combination is fairly open and resourceful as long as the Variable-Paced individual doesn’t have a tremendous amount of Slow-Paced imprinting. Both individuals will feel able to engage each other and hold their own points of view. It is also likely they will treat each other as equals, which is very helpful in minimizing some of the imprinting reactions.

11. Variable-Paced individual with Open-Ended-Paced individual. This combination is fairly conscious with a growth orientation. The major issues will be the “positionality” of the Variable-Paced individual vs. the presence of the Open-Ended-Paced individual. While this is sure to create some imbalance, the flexibility of the Open-Ended-Paced individual will allow them to engage and bring out the capabilities of the Variable-Paced individual for harmonious interactions . Ultimately, it is the degree of conflict within the Variable-Paced individual that will make the process either enjoyable or painful for the Open-Ended-Paced individual. This will be the major issue about whether or not the Open-Ended-Paced individual wants to maintain the relationship with the Variable-Paced individual.

12. Fast-Paced individual with Slow-Paced individual. This is one of the most polarized combinations. While the relationship can be complimentary because they see each other’s weaknesses, there may be greater animosity because they don’t agree on much. This is because we both love and hate each other at the same time. The clearer we become about the differences in Pacing between Fast-Paced and Slow-Paced individuals and see these issues as complementary ways to get things done, the less attached we need to be to be seen as right. This creates the opportunity to honor ourselves where we are, and honor that others can contribute to the interactions in a harmonious way.

13. Fast-Paced individual with Open-Ended-Paced individual. This combination is also a growth process, particularly for the Fast-Paced individual, as they learn to engage things in a deeper way. The big challenge is that the Open-Ended-Paced individual may not enjoy the process because of the urgency of the Fast-Paced individual in trying to accomplish things. While the Open-Ended-Paced individual would automatically work within the framework of the Fast-Paced individual, they might become resentful over time if the relationship was not evolving. What the Open-Ended-Paced individual would be seeking is a greater degree of spontaneity and creative flow.

14. Slow-Paced individual with Open-Ended-Paced individual. This combination is also a growth process, particularly for the Slow-Paced individual as they learn to engage things in a more stimulating way. The big fear would be that the plodding nature of the Slow-Paced individual may become boring to the Open-Ended-Paced individual over time. While the Open-Ended-Paced individual would automatically work within the frameworks of the Slow-Paced individual, they might become resentful over time if the relationship was not evolving. What the Open-Ended-Paced individual would be seeking is a greater degree of flexibility and spontaneity on the part of the Slow-Paced individual.

Pacing Compatibility Considerations

When we have similar Pacing, we can learn and grow together more easily. Common pacing lets us maintain a heart connection indefinitely. With different Pacing, we have to take more breaks from each other so we can regenerate our energy. If we are not honoring our true pacing (by falling into parental Imprint patterns), we need large breaks from the relationships we are in, and need to maintain greater psychic distance in order to survive. The key point to remember is that, with every Compatibility difference, there are solutions that can be used to counteract this disconnection. In the case of a large Pacing difference, we need to learn how to take small breaks from each other so we can regenerate, which creates greater harmony. Another suggestion is that people with large Pacing differences may need to occasionally sleep apart, because when they are sleeping together, they create an energetic engagement that prevents them from regenerating completely.

Pacing differences in romantic relationships occur because at the Instinctive level, women typically are attracted to lower-Paced men (usually by at least 15 points) because these men feel safer and more solid. Men typically choose higher-Paced women (usually by at least 15 points) because they seem more feminine. This defensive gender-role approach (choosing our opposite gender ideals) comes from imitating our parents and cultural norms. On the Intellectual level, we unconsciously compromise by choosing a person on the opposite end of the scale (a lower-Paced person chooses an equally higher-Paced person). If we are lucky, we find someone with less than 20 points difference. If not, a large difference can become intolerable over time. This intellectual pattern of choosing opposites is meant to create more security by having a partner who does well where we do not. Both traditional, lower-Paced men and higher-Paced women are just as affected as non-traditional, higher-Paced men and lower-Paced women. Unfortunately, these differences tend to exhaust both partners and make them less effective.

At the Intuitive level, we are attracted to individuals with the same Pacing (high chooses high, low chooses low) usually within 5 points. If we find a partner within this range, we automatically feel accepted and trusted, feedback is immediate, and increased life task effectiveness is produced. This occurs because we do not require breaks from each other, and can remain energetically connected without difficulty. Other benefits listed in the open-ended Pacing can also be felt when the Pacing is within five points of each other.

The key in building relationships is matching Pacing or “tuning in.” If we do not meet others, resentment builds and communication is diminished. This initially takes finding ways to honor our self and to honor the other simultaneously, operating at a Pacing level that is workable for both. The most effective process to neutralize differences in Pacing is to create a common ground. This requires that we are able to maintain our own natural Pacing in our own personal space, while simultaneously being able to connect and mediate a connection with others in the common space. This requires a great degree of consciousness and ability to direct our attention simultaneously in two directions. In other words, we are present in our own personal space and sensitive to what is going on energetically with us, while at the same time being aware of what is going on in the relationship space outside us. Tuning in to the other person’s Pacing is greatly facilitated when we create a separate space for the relationship. In this situation, we do not need to compromise ourselves in any way or deny our energetic experience. This allows us to become even more sensitive to where other people are and able to read their energy fluctuations more effectively.

Clues To Seeing Pacing

The best way to observe others’ Pacing is to calibrate their natural Pacing to our natural Pacing. We do this by identifying the speed at which we naturally assimilate new experiences and where we have the most say or control in the outcome. This is called our Home Base Pacing. This is where we feel the most creative and the most naturally open and able to engage new experiences in a self-generating and sustainable way. It is important to be in touch with that place at all times so we are clear when and to what degree we are using our energy when we are not operating at our natural Pace. Referring to our Home Base Pacing and comparing it with where others creatively resonate with their own Pacing allows us to see the gap between us and plan our best means of connecting with others. The more we calibrate the differences in Pacing with people, the more capable we will be in recognizing the effect that difference has on us, empowering us to manage our personal resources more effectively.

We will recognize that we are not in our home base if we need to rejuvenate, refresh and recover after being with others. When we use our home base effectively, we maintain our center of balance and are able to navigate through the day without getting jammed by other people at different Pacing. While the first major indication of a difference is the feeling of frustration or impatience (higher-Paced), or the feeling of being drained or overwhelmed (lower-Paced), it is easy to overestimate the degree to which the differences are experienced. For example, a higher-Paced person may seem extremely fast; a lower-Paced person may seem extremely slow.

As we covered in the previous section, there are three distortions that prevent us from seeing Pacing appropriately. They are Resistance, Inertia and Intensity. When we see Intensity in individuals, we may believe that they are higher-Paced than they actually are. They use their ability to make unilateral decisions as a way to maintain distance. This is due to the fact that they are not feeling met in their natural Pacing and rhythm. Over time, this builds up a reaction in which they appear to go even faster to pull people more towards their Pacing. Individuals who demonstrate Resistance appear to be slower-Paced than they actually are. They don’t want to be driven by the demands of others who are faster Paced than them, so they disconnect. This effect slows faster people down pre-emptively.

Finally, those who demonstrate Inertia typically have more distant backgrounds where they were not met at their Pacing level and have given up trying to be met. Ironically, they seem to go in and out of wanting us to confront them or them wanting to confront us. They feel no sense of consensus even though they go through the motions. This produces a hiding of their Pacing that makes it difficult to match them directly. When interacting with others, start with a mid-level Pace and make small adjustments according to how they respond.

Pacing is also highly affected by Pacing imprinting. If individuals are not settled, solid, or congruent within themselves, they seek to identify with what they are most attempting to prove. Men sometimes try to appear fast so they won’t appear dumb. They usually have parents who are faster paced. Women are sometimes attempting to appear more grounded and so appear slower than they are. They usually have parents who are slower paced. The key is to subtract out the effort they are making to determine their true speed. We will know their true Pacing when the degree of intimacy shifts, and we experience greater trust and unity.

It is difficult sometimes to see the Pacing of others when there is imprinting on the intellectual, emotion, or action level of an individual process. This is particularly true with individuals who are Think-First and intellectually Imprinted or those who are Feel-First and emotionally Imprinted. In these circumstances, the imprinting and doubts make an individual seem more accommodating and tentative in their energetic connection with us. When a Think-First is intellectually imprinted, they hold back their opinions and try to look more easy-going to offset the fear that they are too much to handle. Feel-First emotionally imprinted individuals usually attempt to look more structured than they are and more “with it” by trying to be more on top of what is going on.

In such situations, their energies may actually seem lower or higher than they actually are. For example, an individual with a high Pace may not feel comfortable demonstrating the power to move quickly if he/she grew up in a home where they didn’t take her opinion seriously or listen when she had something to contribute. As a result, he/she would grow-up not being reinforced in his/her truth and therefore would be very easy-going and soft in his/her interaction with others. We could also confirm this process by seeing how he/she would react if they were not listened to and talked over.

If an individual was imprinted intellectually, they will get angry and possibly withdraw. This is because he/she would be angry that people are not there for him/her but he/she would be too scared to assert him/herself in the situation. Another way of thinking about this process is that they would believe that they didn’t have the right to engage others with their ideas and, instead, become emotional caretakers to keep the peace.

A similar situation could also happen to a person who is imprinted emotionally. In this situation they may actually seek to always be connected by raising their Pacing to a level that is uncomfortable for them in order to guarantee that somebody will be there for them. This occurs many times when a child feels that they are not seen and could be abandoned by others in the group.

Occasionally, action imprinting shows up in individuals where they could never do the right thing in their family. They are scared to engage in any situation and want to double check that what they are doing will be accepted before they do it. Indicators of this circumstance are individuals that were not supported in their feelings or thoughts. Instead they received all their criticism or acknowledgement in the form of behavioral acceptance. This means they either were accepted or not accepted based on what they did. In this situation, they would not know how to Pace with others and therefore would be more withdrawn and apart from people because they wouldn’t feel comfortable being connected with them. This is discussed more in the Process section where we talk about the effects of different communication styles.

Validating Our Pacing

Calibrating Questions for Pacing Clarification

  1)   Which of the following do you experience most often:
        a)    Do you feel that you struggle to keep up and end up feeling tired or exhausted after being with particularly intense people after a few hours? (lower-paced)
        b)    Do you feel you are always trying to move others along more quickly, frustrated that they are not engaging you fully, and progressively more irritated that they are so resistant to going with your flow? (faster-paced)
   2)    Do you find yourself bored, impatient, wanting to complete others’ sentences, interrupting their process with the belief that you need to stimulate them consistently to get some action? (faster-paced)
   3)    Do you feel it is your job to keep things stable and grounded under the onslaught of highly demanding people? (slower-paced)
   4)    With some individuals, do you feel an immediate connection that creates an opening where you feel you are aligned with them? Or, when you meet someone new, are you able to be creative with them without having to put a lot of effort into it or feel any reaction for or against anything they suggest or do? (Variable or Open Ended Pacing)
   5)    Do you notice that you have different groups of friends that take different levels of energy to manage? Does your connection to others shut down or do you go into denial about yourself when you are stressed out or overwhelmed? Do you notice that you bounce around various constituencies based on how loving you feel towards yourself? (All three questions indicate where you use Pacing inappropriately to create false connections that imitate the wounds of your parents.)
   6)    Examine how you responded as a child to the Pacing of your mother and father.
   a)    Did you have to be as fast as or faster to survive? (If so, you have fast-pace imprinting.)
   b)    Did you have to slow down and be more grounded than you usually are? (If so, you have slow-pace imprinting.)
   c)    Were your parents so similar with you that you felt you could become enmeshed or smothered by them? (If so, you probably found a way to protect yourselves by doing a different Pacing from theirs, throwing yourselves off your natural Pace to keep from losing your separate identity.)
   7)    In a group situation, do you speed up (low-paced people do this), slow down (higher-Paced people do this), or not notice any difference (these are medium- or variable-paced people). In other words, does your internal clock speed up or slow down around other people? Or overall, do you sense that about half the people you meet are not keeping up with you, they are going faster than is comfortable, or both?
   8)    In an energetic or impassioned conversation with other people do you find yourself wanting to complete their sentences (high-paced), feel blocked or not understood (low-paced), or are you able to go with the flow without any reaction (medium- or variable- paced)?

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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