Updated: Feb 3
The conversation I had with our guest today has wholly refreshed my thoughts on transition and personal liberation. Join me as I talk to the incredibly inspiring Calvin West, who is a Certified Professional Coach, healer, teacher, activator, systems thinker, and dot connector. He calls his own approach Coaching Plus, because it's much more than traditional coaching. He brings in his own energetic gifts and teachings, Human Design, the enneagram, internal family systems, neuroscience, and more to help people redesign how they participate in the world around them, so they can have more harmony, peace, joy, fun, and ease in life. Listen in as Calvin and I dive into the infinite questions that come your way when exploring what your mind puts forward!
Calvin shared in the episode his life story and how he processed his mind through the chaos when he realized he was a trans man. His parents were teenagers when they had him and so he grew up really fast. What’s more, he lived in a house that was haunted. So, his nervous system was essentially on high alert all the time. Growing up, he also saw a lot of violence around him. He did not understand that it had become acclimated to such a level of the nervous system that high alertness was always needed. But it really kind of took this healing process to understand what it felt like to bring that level down.
At 13, he originally came out as a lesbian in a super conservative town. When one of her teachers then asked her to watch a video on puberty, she replied that she wasn't going to have them anyway. That was the first time he felt his body expressed that he wasn't straight. Gradually, he realized he was different and it was then that challenges seemed to flood his path.
Acceptance was what appeared the hardest. No matter what the world said about him, he learned to know himself from the inside. Calvin also talks about human design and the enneagram in the episode today. He aims to help people see their mirrors and figure out whatever is the best for them in life. He teaches to not get deluded by perceptions and societal norms.
In his own words, "what is happening during COVID is actually making the work of the enneagram interesting in a whole new way. Because we're being forced to show up in ways and to use parts of us that might be a little bit unfamiliar in ways we really haven't had to do. And it can be very disorienting for people in terms of the enneagram landscape. And at any given moment, you can be pulling from any of the five of the nine types. Because you have your primary dominant type, you have your wings, and then you have your two lines of growth and stress. So any one of those five types, you can be leveraging the unhealthy average or healthy kind of traits of that time."
He also says that when we come into this life, we choose certain things and certain lessons we want to learn. We basically have these superpowers that we come into this life with. But we are conditioned to believe those superpowers are actually weird parts of us.
The entire conversation today had my mind drifting away from a number of preconceived notions on acceptance and revival. Do you wish to know how this incredible human found his way out through the hardest times in life? Is life asking you to keep working on yourself and your choices? Then this episode is for you! Listen in as we unlearn and learn all that needs to be, for a healthier healing!
Lit AF Intro to Human Design Podcast Episode
Book - The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson
Quotes from Calvin Michael West:
“I'm just kind of hoping to connect with folks and help them understand what are these things humming in the background, that are really kind of slowing them down, and becoming this white noise that gets in the way between their own inner voice and who they really are, and kind of what's happening out in the world.”
“And this other thing I've really had to kind of reconcile with, which I did not understand until recently was how much fear has been living in my body, and has it been kind of encoded in my nervous system that I couldn't even access.”
“I just saw a lot of violence growing up. So violence in my home, violence in my community, violence on my street, violence at school, violence kind of everywhere. And I did not understand that I had become acclimated to such a level of nervous system, high alertness.
And it really kind of took, but I hope we get into this healing process to understand what it felt like to bring that level down.”
“I think a lot of people could benefit from permission to be with that discomfort because it is part of the path to liberation in a way I did not understand before.”
“I thought I could think my way out of my pain and when it didn't work, I just poured vodka all over it.”
“People don't get me that systems don't like me, systems do not want me. And that really started to imprint this idea of low self-worth. Which, by the way, is already there just from being a human.”
“When we are told growing up that who we are is not good enough. And we're told that in all these little tiny ways. This is my belief that I'm kind of working with right now. When we get those messages from people and then they leave our space or life or whatever it is.
We can pick up that sign that they are carrying that says you suck, and we carry that and we bully ourselves. We become the number one bully to ourselves. And then we cut those parts of us off from us because we do not want to feel the pain that is caused by our bullying.”
“I stopped talking to myself in abusive ways. And I told myself, I am only going to talk to myself with the love and compassion and care that I would talk to someone I really do care about.”
“Observe don't absorb.”
“For me, what acceptance looks and feels like is just straight reality, straight facts, like not wanting myself to be someone I'm not, willing myself to be someone that I'm not. It's meeting myself at the level I am. And saying, Alright, hey, come on, this is where you're at. And then I get to have a conversation with myself to say, Do I want to change that? Do I want to change that? Or does my ego want to change that? Right? And if I do want to change that, is it because I genuinely want that skill? Or I genuinely want that ability? Or is it because I think that skill or that ability is going to get me something in community, or get something in a relationship or provide for me and something.”
“Every day, we make a choice, we make a choice to replay the bullying narrative that was given to us. And when we do that, we give away our power. And we do so much more damage to ourselves. And we hold that in our nervous system. And it's so fucking toxic.”