The True Origins of the Mouse Naming Revolution

In this interview, I share the origins of the mouse naming revolution, which all started when I was introduced to authentic relating.

Tune in as I reveal:

  • How I was drawn to authentic relating.
  • The epiphany that led to Mouse in the Room.
  • How the mouse naming revolution empowers people to connect with their emotions and understand themselves and others better.

You have to name your feelings. You don’t have to fix it. You don’t have to do anything with it. But you have to name it.
– David Wood

To learn more about Meredith of Grow Strong Leaders, click here. 

🐭 How to Authentically Transform Your Life. Check out my book, Mouse in The Room at 🐭

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[00:00:00] Meredith Bell: I’d like to start out with you, just telling us briefly about your decision to write this book. What were you seeing that caused you to say this message needs to get out there?

[00:00:11] David Wood: Well, thank you for the question. I’ve been training for 25 years in communication, personal growth leadership, and I came to Boulder and I discovered this new branch for me of communication called authentic relating.

And it was amazing. It was like they were missing pieces. Like when you say something to someone checking for impact, how is it for you to hear that? What’s happening for you going deeper into sharing your own experience. We would sit in circles and all we were allowed to share is our experience right now.

No story about a year ago, not what I want tomorrow, but this moment I’m feeling nervous sitting in the group. And I notice I want to. I notice, I feel drawn towards you and I’m worried that I’m gonna say the wrong thing and you guys aren’t gonna like me. Like we had to drill down into our experience and I’m like, this is, this is incredible.

This is a missing piece. And then we started teaching this in, in prisons, uh, with the realness project here in Colorado. And then one day in one of the courses a woman said, you’ve just gotta name the thing. We’re like, what do you mean? You’ve gotta name the thing, the thing you’ve just gotta name the thing.

We’re like, what are you talking about? She said, whatever’s there in the room. Whatever’s there between you whatever’s happening. It might be disappointment. You know, maybe you felt betrayed by something. They did. Maybe you’ve got a desire. That’s unexpressed, maybe your body’s experiencing pain and that’s kind of getting in the way, whatever the thing is.

You just have to name it. You don’t have to fix it. You don’t have to do anything with it, but you have to name it. And I thought she’s so right. There’s power in naming what’s happening. Even if we just name it for ourselves. Oh, this is happening. And I don’t like it. This is happening. And I feel really sad about it.

And I, and I said that day, that’s a book. Name that thing that was, that’s a book name, that thing. And then I thought, um, you know, over, over the a year went by two years, went by, she didn’t seem interested in writing a book about it. And so I said, what do we have in our culture that best reflects this? Or that’s the closest thing to it.

And I thought the elephant in the room, we all, we all know about it. You see the elephant? I see the elephant. No one’s saying anything. It’s weird. Well, I’m here to say, yes, we should address the elephant in the room. Or we, we could have called the book that, but many animals in the room are much more subtle.

Maybe you don’t see it. And it’s just my experience. Maybe I’m wondering if you see it. Let’s suppose I’m late, which I was today. I think goes two minutes late to this call. If I, I, I didn’t say anything, but there’s a part of me thinking is Meredith upset? I’m committed to being on time. I’m a little embarrassed that I’m late.

These are mice, and I’m like, I don’t know what’s going on for you, but these are my mice. And the book is designed to help us discover our mice. This is what’s actually going on with me right now. And, and should I share it because we’ve been conditioned not to. And then how do I artfully name it in a way that’s gonna be well received?

 And when we do. Life gets better. Business gets better. We make more money. We’re happier. We’re more confident we have more connection and we’re a better leader that people actually wanna follow.

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