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  • Writer's pictureLaura Roeven

Push, Pull, Allow, Stop

I attended a lecture this week that introduced 4 words to raise awareness in relationships. Kanu Kogod facilitated the training entitled, “How Unconscious Bias Shows Up in Coaching”. These concepts were originally developed for theater work by Michelle Shay and Kanu Kogod expanded on them within relationships.

Kogod explained that we can show up energetically in 4 ways: Push, Pull, Allow, and Stop. Since the lecture, I have been playing with this idea and noticing what I bring to relationships. Each word has a positive quality when in balance and a negative quality when out of balance. I hope that the words inspire an idea for a new action or response in your life. I double dog dare you to try a shift in your own life using one of the 4 concepts.


The energy of push is determination. To try, to take a step, to begin are all push energies. In balance, push can be the energy of a hero. It’s brave to push. Too much push? Then it turns impatient or aggressive. In excess, it can be perceived as a bully. I challenged myself to an extra work out this week using push energy. I promised myself if I woke up early, I’d GO FOR IT! That push was what I needed to push out of bed and hit the weights. What area of your life is wanting a little push from you this week?


The energy of pull is attraction. This is drawing ideas or people inward. In balance, pull energy is that of a lover. It has the element of seduction as your energy attracts ideas, opportunities, or people toward self. Out of balance, this can turn into a victim mentality. The dark side of pull is grasping and complaining. I noticed that I was complaining about the weather and feeling a dragging energy. Playing with this concept, I became curious about shifting my focus of attraction. Friendship, appreciation, and gratitude were words that I moved my thoughts to and created an enlivening. What are you pulling toward yourself? What do you want to attract toward yourself this week?


The energy of allow is flexibility. This is how well we accept what is happening. Life throws curve balls and changes occur. Allow has an airy feeling in the movement. In balance, allowing can be like a wizard that meets the moment as it is and decides the next best step. Allowing, in balance, can be a way to see what is happening in the moment and decide what we want to do. It has the movement of asking, “Now what?” Out of balance, allow can become either a “manipulator” or a “pushover”. Too much of allow can cause the desire to manipulate a situation for personal gain vs. the overall good. Or it can swing the other way by being too tolerant and getting walked over. My own tendency is to use allow energy. As a mentor, Girl2Girl students have told me they come to me first because I rarely say no, “You’re the pushover”. Being aware of allow keeps my yes’s and no’s in balance. Playing with allow this week has caused me to ask, “Am I to dance in this moment or step into a different energy?” Knowing I overuse allow, I’m working on expanding my push, pull and stop.


The final energy is stop. Stop is the energy of stability. In balance, stop is characterized as the benevolent leader. It is a grounded energy of deciding with wisdom. Taking a breath and discernment are examples of stop energy. Out of balance, stop energy can become controlling like a stubborn dictator. If I am tired or hungry, stop energy shows up. Conversely, when I make sure my cup is filled and my days have balance, I can make clear and informed decisions. This energy reminds me to take good care of myself to make great choices. What comes up for you? What helps you to be a great leader? What situations bring out stubbornness or wishing to control? Is there another way to approach that moment?

I like the simplicity of these words and images that Kanu Kogod came up with to gauge how I am showing up in any relationship. It reminds me to include the relationship with myself. It is important to speak with kindness and support to my own learning and growth. The good qualities mentioned are easier to access with enough sleep, proper nutrition, exercise, and play time in my week. When was the last time you did something nice with yourself? If you find that your responses are not what you hoped they would be, please book a session with me. Flipping the responses to self and others is changeable and so much easier with coaching support. Why not schedule today?



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