* * *
Finally, recognition by any particular cultural group of the vitalizing properties these principles of
Rational Emoto-Linguistics embody will have a significant effect on that group's global destiny. For
example, it is not widely known that in France, where IHXENs remain the norm despite incursions of
the IAXAP form from the English-speaking world, GDP per capita per hour is higher than in any
English-speaking country. Surely that is not just a coincidence but rather is indicative of a higher
capacity for collective rationality among individuals capable of unusually good interpersonal
connections ... Yet, because English is so widely spoken by militarily and financially powerful
decision-makers, the degree of English-speakers' recognition of these realities may -- so far at least -- be
more decisive in determining human destiny. Fortunately, IHXEN-supported rationality can be
achieved not only through the medium of English. It can certainly also become available through the
medium of other European languages, Mandarin, and also Arabic.
|The "I have 'X emotion' now" (IHXEN) I-statement has profound psycho-linguistic properties. Practice of
honest IHXEN I-statements in either silent inner inquiry/contemplation or in conversation with
another, has now been going on in Authentix Coaches’ practice for a decade and a half. It has
consistently shown that a person becomes, through practising articulation of IHXENs in moments of
anxiety, enthusiasm or other emotion/moods (including anger/frustration), more presently conscious --
with the consequence that he or she is able to augment his or her ability to own the energy then
imminent of expression. He or she is then empowered to choose to transform it from a reaction, in
which no thinking has been added, to a reply -- or even a response in which at least some growth in
perspective will have occurred. Such 'presence' can have profoundly beneficial effects arising from
either growing additional perspective or in becoming more groundedly accurate (authentic?).
The retired Head of Clinical Psychology at the Columbia United States' Veterans Hospital Bob Scott,
PhD, says of IHXENs (which, for convenience, are pronounced 'Eye-Zens'):
"Practice of the IHXEN linguistic empowers people to say 'I have anger' instead of 'I am angry'. The latter
way of describing one's situation implies that one's emotional state is some kind of permanent property,
rather than something that one can acquire some ability to choose."
The words we use do more than inform others although that, of course, is our conscious intent. Truth in
this matter must also, neuroscientists tell us, include the realities that, whether we are articulating our
own words or interpreting others’, word patterns are unconsciously forming neural pathways in our
brains and these pathways may become automatic triggers of ideological rigidities in the future. Thus
Bob's point is not only about what the words we use trigger in other people. It’s also about how both
their words and our own will be interacting with our own and others' neural resources. More generally,
his point raises the question of whether our use of words might be having the effect of trapping us in
presuppositions, prejudices or presumptions, or emoto-linguistic biases, of which we will later be only
barely conscious, if at all. This is the crucial issue in psycho-linguistics. Ignorance of this very
subtle observation limits our abilities to recognize and become comfortable in following
opportunities for growth in perspective when we meet with the obstacle of a disagreement. A
surprising real-life narrative illustrating this point in a professional context is available at this link.
Another real-life narrative illustrating this point in a personal context appears later on this page.
Each articulation of an I-statement can be an opportunity to find a way to put the energy of the
emotion then affecting one to a healthy or even healing purpose. It also gives its interpreter an
opportunity to assess the authenticity of the words he or she has heard or read by consideration of their
congruence with other aspects of the articulator’s expression of his or her energy. We may, of course,
forego these opportunities. That is for us to choose, and also to accept the consequences of foregoing
them. But in order to exercise fully our powers of choice, we must be in-the-moment (presently)
conscious that we have such powers. Articulating an IHXEN empowers us to be more conscious of the
emotion influencing us than if we simply trip out the mainstream convention for an I-statement in
English, which today is of the IAXAP form – "I am ‘X adjectival phrase’". In effect, by choosing an
IHXEN, we are 'opening an inner door' to growth in two capacities:
These capacities allow us to process data more thoroughly. In short, by articulating an IHXEN, we grow
our capacities to transcend ingrained habits of automatic reaction – habits that may be appearing to
others as disconcertingly presumptuous or irrelevantly distractive or absent-minded. Practitioners feel
the results as growing self-confidence and ability either to trust appropriately or to proceed with
sensitive prudence. Others notice the creativity and resilience of near-IHXEN practitioners.
Trying to use IHXENs in all circumstances would, however, be both exhausting and debilitating. It can
be made easier for beginners by preceding it with "This is my emotion: IHXEN" (thanks to Dr. John
Webb, FSB, for this insight!). The self-inquiring work of finding the noun honestly descriptive of our
state of being will eventually, however, be necessary to 'staying there' in moments of challenge to
trustful connection with a partner whom one believes is necessary to crucial problem-solving. Such
moments are when we are sorely tempted to react unthinkingly, and also the moments when (absent a
physical danger) we risk the most. In such circumstances, the presence of either anxiety or dramatic
release from anxiety (i.e. beyond relief into enthusiasm or a 'confidence' likely to be overweening or
manic), can drive us into doing what we always do, which will only reproduce the problem we are
facing. I therefore recommend, after practising this myself in a very wide range of situations, that we
resort to finding the IHXEN that will present us authentically, i.e. in a deeply present rather than a
frank, but potentially hostile, way. Then say "This is my emotion (TIME): IHXEN" This approach
empowers me, and any who have consulted me, to open our inner doors of perception and conception
to the possibilities of choosing. We might ask a pertinent question or make a non-presumptive request:
anything that will help us move back toward our 'centres of equanimity'.
People who practice articulating accurate IHXEN I-statements learn that different people’s various
ideas of subjective and objective truth can, despite prior experience to the contrary, co-evolve in both
meaningful and practical conversations. This happens when we learn to state and restate problems so
that true needs are actually prioritized over less urgent wants, interests, preferences, or tastes. The
energy to get true needs accurately and equitably identified and met then emerges.
IHXENs and IAXAPs CONTRASTED
By contrast with IHXENs, the conventional I-statement – "I am X adjectival phrase" (IAXAP) – often
leads to disconnections of relationship. If this should be unclear, consider, for example:
• How utterance of the IAXAP “I am tired" or "I am too busy" or "I am frustrated" facilitate more or
less permanent neglect to consider that one will have another perspective when one is no longer being
affected by these states of being but has processed more of what was triggering these states;
• How utterance of the IAXAPs "I am a professional", "I am a capitalist", “I am a socialist” or "I am a
Palestinian" or "I am an Israeli", or similar I-statements that rigidify our social identities in ideologies
suggest to an interlocutor with whom one’s connection is still tenuous that a basic element of any
human being's identity – his or her humanity – is habitually presumed to be irrelevant to the
What's crucial to recognize here is that whereas both forms of I-statement, IAXAP and IHXEN, entrain
the neuro-linguistic circuits in which our social identities evolved from our essential selves, IAXAPs
introduce either unnecessary anxiety or unnecessary rigidity into what otherwise could be more
connecting or more problem-solving conversations. In other words, the form of I-statement currently
conventional in the English-speaking world, namely IAXAP, is unfortunately driving us to forget that
we will not always be, for example, tired, busy, or frustrated. If, therefore, we wish to retain rationality,
we will want to express ourselves in such a way that we keep in mind that our emotions will, in due
course, evolve both with circumstances and with our own growth in wisdom.
Likewise, if one uses IAXAPs such as "I am a professional, capitalist, socialist, Palestinian, or Israeli" one is
presuming that one's predominant social role is the essence of who one is and will therefore be
programming one's self-image neuro-circuits with the false rigidity that one's social standing is always
of higher priority than one's participation in a sustaining problem-solving humanity.
As more or less adult human beings, we resist change, and in some circumstances perhaps we cannot
grow our perspectives. While we are alive, however, we certainly can grow in perspective to include
data of which we are not yet aware but which may become more accessible if we make a careful effort
to treat our interlocutor and the constituency he or she represents, and ourselves, respectfully as fellow
human beings. Unfortunately, very few of us have continuous and present clarity about the availability
of this process of evolution in personal perspective. Yet the sad truth is that our ignorance of it is the
most fundamental cause of why tribal or other affiliations so often prevent our connection with people
who have become acculturated to views of life (world-views) different from our own. In other words,
our ignorance of a reality brought about by our culturally driven addiction to the IAXAP form
of I-statement can become shockingly unblissful for us!
A SIMPLE ILLUSTRATION
To make these ideas more concrete and to illustrate how they can be used in a practical setting, let us
now consider a real-life narrative by Chinghiz Kayani (a pseudonym for an Authentix Coach) in which he
resorts -- in moments of difficulty with his girlfriend -- to IHXENs:
Our conversation proceeded, as it usually does, to a place where I felt the need to express my grief that an
issue (one not worth describing here) of concern to me appeared to be of no interest or concern to her. In the
past, such moments have either been managed at great pain to myself, or else we have needed a separation
of at least a week or two. On this occasion, I recalled my success in professional relationships with IHXENs
and said "I have grief now".
The silence gave me time to think. How can I express myself without either accusing her of gross ignorance
of me or letting myself down in a relationship that had become important to both of us?
Exactly what words I subsequently used, I cannot now recall. But I do recall that the next few minutes were
dominated, for me, by my being conscious of the value to me of finding both empathic and authentic words
with which to continue our conversation. I also recall that I kept my external attention on the facial
features of my girlfriend, who had – luckily for both of us – agreed to my request that, in moments of
difficulty in our relationship, we exchange IHXENs. That request sought, in effect, a practical way for us to
make the parts we each contributed to our relationship either empathically authentic or authentically
empathic. I also recall that among her responses was "I have anger now", and included in my perceptions
was clarity that that particular IHXEN of hers was indeed an authentic one.
The next specifics that I can accurately recall are that my girlfriend handed me a present – my birthday was
imminent, and that she put money down on the table to pay for her lunch, stood up with her lunch only half
eaten, and departed with the single word "Goodbye!" delivered with a look of resentment. "Oh dear", I
thought, in some emotion between consternation and misery, "I've 'blown it'".
It so happened that we had previously agreed to go that evening to a cabaret put on by the Toronto District
School Board called "Let's Go to the Movies!" – although her distressingly abrupt departure caused me to
forget this arrangement. But a few hours later, she appeared at a place where I often have a wind-the-week-
down green tea and oatmeal bar, where I was reading, with emotions somewhere between dudgeon and
gloom, the book present she had given me. Something prompted me to look up … and there she was. I said:
"I have relief to see you", which was exactly my sentiment.
She then inquired as to whether our evening appointment was still on. "Yes", I said, instantly remembering
the agreement we had made, and smiles appeared on both our faces. The evening turned out to be, should
anyone wish to know, a "happily ever after" event.
Chinghiz' resort to periodic IHXENs had helped him find an honest way safely through a crisis in which
a valued relationship was at stake, and he had done this using Eye-Zen English proficiency he had
acquired as an executive coach. Although the IHXENs he and his girlfriend had exchanged did not
themselves solve the relationship problem, their exchange did make it possible for them each to
present their essential priorities honestly, and thereby retained a trusting connection for the future.
AUTHENTIX COACHES' PRACTICE
Authentix Coaches invest our coaching with the IHXEN linguistic because we have found it to be helpful
in situations of significant uncertainty or challenge. (A narrative of a particularly successful coaching
engagement with one of our corporate clients is available at this link). IHXENs are part of a family of
linguistic principles we have developed for selecting and interpreting language in challenging
circumstances. Designed – after over a decade of testing in client relationships by the author, and some
collateral support from academic researchers using fMRI scanners at the UCLA National Mental Health
Unit, this family amounts to a set of recommendations for guiding people in problem-solving
conversation to solutions of "all-in", i.e. fair, productivity. My colleagues and I classify this family of
principles by the term Rational Emoto-Linguistics -- because our researches in this field are a branch of
an established academic discipline known as psycho-linguistics. Colloquially, we call it Eye-Zen English.
Our coaching work is mostly, but not exclusively, with clients who are entrepreneurs, professionals, or
executives, all of whom are very frequently faced with such moments, but we also do pro-bono work.
As a simplified overview, one may think of Eye-Zen English as a rationally integrated set of principles
for selecting and interpreting English words and constructions thereof. Neither an invented language
nor a vernacular usage of English, the aim of Eye-Zen English is the gaining and maintenance of
human connection, through an easily learned means of adherence to the principle of accuracy,
for the purpose of facilitating the problem-solving and needs-meeting capacities of groups.
Conceived after becoming proficient in the exchange of honest IHXENs in a coaching practice, Eye-Zen
English principles include:
• A synthesis of the vitalizing essences of already invented principles of English usage, such as E-
prime and NVC -- including an isolation of the circumstances in which practice of such invented
principles can be devitalizing
• A contribution of new ideas that emphasize the greater vitality of distinctions over definitions for
the loosening of cultural habits that, although currently 'conventional' in 'natural' language usage,
nonetheless often form unconsciously habitual blockages to problem-solving connection
• A careful selection of additional concepts -- such as the clarifying value of minimizing the use of
nouns formed from 'nessifying' adjectives and the value of 'origi-definitions' (a process whereby
distinctions between often-conflated words become useful in untangling conversations stuck in
• A structure for organizing conversations that elaborates NVC's 'OFNR' architecture so that it leads
to decision-making by socially mandated leaders that are based on deeper insights than are currently
considered by dominant elites, i.e. 'alpha' personalities, as 'OK' or 'normal'.
Is there any limit to the applications to which resorts to an exchange of IHXENs can be applied usefully
by earnest people? The only limitations on their successful application to creating insight into all
manner of problems seem at this point to me to be the degree of honest proficiency of the people
practicing them. This appears to be because IHXENs facilitate linguistic reconciliation of simultaneous
experiences of subjective and objective truth in the partners exchanging them, and because the
criterion/sense of truth is held by virtually all cultures to be critical to problem-solving. In short,
IHXENs appeal to, and facilitate elaboration of, the ideas and senses of truth held, for at least 500
generations of civilization, to be precious by virtually all human beings – regardless of whether their
use of the word 'truth' is primarily scientific, spiritual, or legal.
What you have read so far may already have given you at least beginning cause to consider whether
IHXENs will have applications beyond the needs of executives. A client of mine who is versed in
principles of Adlerian education believes, after a lifetime of primary school teaching in Ontario, that
IHXENs can be used to good effect in schools. You can find Johanna Pennings' testimonial to that effect
among the series of testimonials sampled at this link. I myself feel sure that scientifically and
artistically oriented people can also benefit from the usage of honest IHXENs to build mutual trust and
maintain presence. This means they can help us learn to bridge, when necessary, gaps in our
comprehension of each other's fields of expertise. So far, however, I have not had much opportunity to
prove this beyond doubt empirically -- although, in the drafting of my pre-publication manuscripts,
that is changing.
Psycho-therapeutically, an exchange of IHXENs empowers the parties caught in a serious issue to
maintain hope of satisfying in conversation ancient longings that can all too easily be temporarily
forgotten in the desperation of an impending upset. Every human being regularly experiences, or at
least very often did as a child, such desperate longings. Indeed, our common minimal longings in
serious problem-solving conversations can be said, in general, to want, more or less simultaneously, to
be able to accomplish, just two things: (1) to assess accurately another's degree of authenticity in the
subject of present relevance to us – using skills of perception we have all been honing since childhood in
observation of more powerful others, and (2) to be able safely to contribute one’s own genuine or
authentic input – using skills of articulation we have all been honing since childhood in order to make
our needs, wants, interests, preferences, and other desires, appeal -- in so far as they are genuine and
vitalizing -- to others' senses of humanity.
If you followed the link offered above to a narrative of a particularly successful coaching engagement
that was facilitated by IHXEN exchanges you will have learned that it produced the following return on
(If you would like now to review the link to that narrative, here it is again).
Although the benefits of IHXEN proficiency were, in the instance of that particular coaching
engagement, in some ways exceptional, they make the point that practice exchanging verbalizations of
a simple, but not initially habitual, form of honest I-statement can bring the sense and energy of the
state of being known as equanimity sufficiently alive to a habitually busy organization to produce
powerfully positive results through amplification of the value to solving problems fairly of more
Exchanges of IHXENs appear to be unique in having the property that people resorting to them when
experiencing difficulty or worse can expect to be able to continue in rational episodes of conversation
until all/both parties have what they need or want from the conversation. Sometimes this may only be
the inspiration to recognize tangibly or concretely their need and mutual desire for another one.
Proficiency in Eye-Zen English empowers people to reach for (and at a more advanced stage of
proficiency) 'consciously balance around', genuine equanimity – even in high-pressure circumstances.
Equanimity is a state from which solutions aiming at peace, productivity, well-being, prosperity, and
sustainability will actually entrain progress toward those aims. Unfortunately, few people today are
sufficiently self-aware to be able to attain and maintain equanimity consciously. The unfortunate, and
sometimes tragic, consequences are that many, if not most, decisions (by even career-trained decision-
makers) are today taken from states of being such as hurried ignorance, disciplined but strained and
inauthentic bravado or other forms of “acting”, robotic numbness, anxiety, mania, pessimism, or
despair. Decisions taken from such states do not, of course, engender the confidence and clarity that is
conducive to peace, prosperity, productivity, well-being, and sustainability. Because that is so,
"violence begets violence" is often a tragically reliable verity, as would also be "anxiety begets anxiety"
if that idea had become as widely known as the former one. Replacement of IAXAPs by IHXENs,
however, can lead to an era when we may all come to recognize that "equanimity begets equanimity".
One might summarize Eye-Zen English as the principled usage of English for problem-solving and
decision-making through deliberate psycho-linguistic means for avoiding presumption, jocularity,
bravado, emotional bias, or undisciplined guessing. In essence, it facilitates the more or less
simultaneous application of the communication principles of authenticity and empathy for the purpose
of solving, whether alone (perhaps writing) or in conversation with another, intractable problems for
which people long for solutions.
The practice of Eye-Zen English principles in conversation facilitates more or less simultaneous
satisfaction of these longings. Most notably, their practice avoids the disruptions that psycho-
diagnostic remarks, which are almost always presented in a presumptively authoritative way and which
so often characterize the start of those dysfunctional episodes of English conversation that follow the
application of such psychoanalytical theories as became popular amongst students of 'management'.
For an essay describing how these disruptions occur and how the use of IHXENs avoids them, please
review this link. The essay there offers some insight in to the reality that, even at modest levels of
proficiency, leaders can use Eye-Zen English to refine diagnostic intuitions into words that avoid
triggering the distrust that emanates from inauthentic role-playing and instead produce, first, a base of
mutual confidence, and later, deepening trust and new insight into common fields of interest.
Becoming proficient in Eye-Zen English involves much more, of course, than simply being adept at
IHXEN statements. In fact, it involves, over time, the following:
1. Becoming familiar with a sufficient vocabulary of emotion nouns to be able to label one's own
emotion accurately with an IHXEN
2. Becoming sufficiently familiar with one's own unique patterns of emotional flow and transition
to be able to chart, practice, and in due course complete reliably, a path to equanimity from almost any
emotion, or even mood, no matter how strong or entrenched
3. Becoming familiar with the making of distinctions among commonly conflated word meanings,
for the purposes of obviating language-induced misunderstandings. For example, even people with
advanced levels of education, commonly conflate the meanings of the words "frank", "honest",
"authentic", and "accurate". As a coach I therefore offers distinctions, such as those in the table below,
as ways to unwind misunderstandings caused by common conflations of word meanings:
A Brief Overview of Eye-Zen English:
A Family of Rational Emoto-Linguistic Principles for
Problem-Solving that Meets Genuine Needs Fairly
(c) 2009-14 by
Principal, Authentix Coaches
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|..Cost/benefit of the Authentix service: an investment of under $30,000, plus perhaps
$50,000 to $80,000 in internal opportunity costs, had (a) resulted in recovery of a
receivable outstanding that had been threatening the client's survival, (b)produced the
solid base for a cooperative future provided by an ESOP launch that had generated
much good will between the founder and owner and his enterprising employees, and (c)
brought a restoration of equitable justice to people involved in more than one