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Acknowledgement Part 6: Troubleshooting “Drilling Down To Bedrock”

A few points in regards to the last protocol “Drilling Down To Bedrock”.

Firstly, when you ask ‘why’ you often get “I don’t know” as an answer. The way you deal with this is simple, you treat it like any interruption. You Go Meta in it and you do Acknowledgement for that (“I wish I would know, ofc I wish I would know, who wouldn’t?! And I acknowledge the fact that I don’t know”) and then you get back to asking again “Why”.

If you once again get “I don’t know” you just do the same thing again. Acknowledge it and go back to asking “why”. Sometimes you need to do this a few times before you get anywhere.

Sometimes after doing this 5 times or so you still have the “I don’t know”. In that case you check to see if the question of ‘why’ seems irrelevant or foolish to you. Much like the question “why did Jim in Kansas eat bacon for breakfast today?”. Ya simply don’t care! In that case, you have hit Rock Bottom and you can once again start working up the chain using “of course”.

Secondly, sometimes when you ask ‘why’ you get more then one answer. What do you do then?

In that case you set each answer as the starting point of a new branch to work down. Like a mind-map or tree. Then you pick one of them, go down it till you hit Rock Bottom, and then you work down the other one. It can be very useful to fully map out and explore all the bits, if you have a lot of stuff to map, then map it!

In the next post I hope to talk some theory about what’s happening when we use the Drilling Down To Rock Bottom Protocol, which will help flesh out some of it for your practice.

As always, comments and questions welcome.


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6 Responses to “Acknowledgement Part 6: Troubleshooting “Drilling Down To Bedrock””

  1. Jimmy H says:

    It’s cool because if you ignore the multiple options and try to act like there’s one, you’ll come right back. If you hit rock bottom and say “of course” all the way up to the top, the next “so what do you wish?” is the same and it’ll lead you right back down the same path to that same “why?” – only the answer will be different. I’ve even walked people through it and had them not notice that I asked the same exact question and they interpreted it very differently the next go around.

    If you already know you have multiple answers then it’s easy to know that it branches there, but sometimes the first answer will overshadow a second (but still important) answer. That’s why I prefer to check “so of course?” first instead of just asserting “of course!”, so that you’ll notice these things earlier.

    • Joe K Fobes says:

      Ah interesting bit on the “so of course?” as a question.

      In the next post I’ll talk about how DDTRB (Drilling Down To Rock Bottom) is in essence a mapping tool to help fix selective inattention, which will help clarify for people why it’s useful to take the answers to ‘why’ seriously even if it does get tedious to pursue a branching tree…

  2. Dean says:

    I’m loving this series so far, Joe. Thank you.

    I’ve been following along with the examples but they’ve gotten pretty personal so I won’t put it all here. When drilling down I found that I had an old belief that “things are supposed to be fair.” When I realized that I no longer have that belief the issue dissolved.

    • Joe K Fobes says:

      Excellent! Glad to hear you’re doing the work and seeing the fruits of your labor. Many people talk about a sense of more solidity and okness in their life when they use Acknowledgement a lot.

      As to the personal stuff, if you wish you can post and use a placeholder for private stuff such as (a), then (b), till you get to a non personal answer.

  3. Jan Krüger says:

    This sounds suspiciously like the way I’ve come to practice meditation, though your approach is much more structured. Still, I guess that means I can vouch for the general principle. Enthusiastically. 🙂

    • Joe K Fobes says:

      Thanks for the vouch!

      I can say that I find the structure to be enormously helpful when I’m working on something and I get overwhelmed. Either in myself or with a client. A rope guide is useful when the terrain gets foggy…

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