(YOU)niversity #3

Ok Party People! 

We have a new group and some new stuff going on and I am excited for October and the theme of removing our masks. 

This months offering of (YOU)niversity is one that means a lot to me. 

To me being honest about who we are and really learning how we show up in any given situation is imperative.

There are three ways we generally show up when we are triggered and in fight or flight. 

We tend to perpetrate, play victim, or rescue. 

These three settings are necessary to our survival as a species and go all the way back to a more hunter gather style of living though have evolved into types of behaviors that aren't always beneficial in a modern time. 

This months exercise is another one of inward looking and practiced noticing over the next month. 

It is one of my favorites and I usually use this in the 2nd or 3rd session with my 1v1 clients. 

I call it "Your Bus Drivers". 

I don't necessarily recall how I came up with this exercise though I think Amber was one of the first people I used it on a year ago on our first podcast. 

The first step is this.

Over the next week I want you to observe yourself and pay special attention to when you are triggered or elevated. 

When you find yourself is a sticky situation whether it is traffic, an argument, or speaking up at work or at home, notice what role you shift to. 

Do you shift to being the perpetrator, bullying people out of your space?

Do you play the victim, not taking responsibility for your piece, blaming others? 

Or do you shift to a rescuing posture and do your best to please everyone, save the day, and keep the peace?

I'll give you an example of myself playing all three of these roles in a single event. 

Let's say my wife is making dinner and the kids are in the kitchen causing a ruckus, there is screaming, toddlers throwing poop and pandamonium. 

I jump to rescuer mode and head into the kitchen. 

I pick up kids and start moving them to better locations or perhaps corralling them where they are not able to get to my wife. 

Because Dad is ready to eat! 

If I was perhaps in the middle of something important and didn't allow myself a moment to shift roles smoothly my rescuing can be a little gruf and angry. 

Before you know it I am perpetrating or bullying my way in and out of the kitchen to clear space and hopefully alleviate some of the screaming and poop throwing.  

When my daughter starts to cry because I am being a loud and angry ass hole then my wife will give me the eyeball of "thanks for adding to the situation".

Right around that point I begin to play victim to the screaming and poop throwing as to why my anger is justified.

Make sense?


Collect your evidence throughout the week and see which characters show up the most. 

Now imagine one more time if you will that you are driving a big city bus. 

And your calm and serene self is driving. 

Take a look in that big mirror over your head and notice all the different versions of yourself sitting in all the various seats. 

Lots of versions huh?

Now as you are driving the bus and some poop is thrown or glass smashes in the kitchen, what version of you runs up from the back of the bus and forcefully takes the wheel?

This will be the second part of the exercise that I would invite you to do about a week after you first read this. 

I want you to name your bus drivers.

I want you to check them against your timeline. 

If you haven't done your timeline, then check (YOU)niversity #2.

Then, I want you to acknowledge why they were created and what they were protecting you from. 

This exercise is another way to show you how you are put together and WHY you react the ways you do and why we have developed each of these three roles into a myriad of characters. 

Each one of those bus drivers has a powerful skill and once served a powerful purpose. 

They all get you something. 

And each one of them costs you something as well. 

Even your best self has its costs and rewards.

So the final event in this exercise is to jot down all the pros and cons of each version and when they can serve you best in this life moving forward. 

Again, acknowledge all of your drivers, and learn to break them out only when they are most useful in moving you to your best life. 

To me this comes from a practiced habit of learning from your mistakes. 

Our bus drivers are a part of who we are. 

And the best way to piss them off is to keep them hidden.

And there is no better way to honor all of your drivers by bringing them out and letting them shine at what they do best. 

Please let me know if you have any questions. 



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My 9/11 Story

I was on a nuclear submarine in the Indian Ocean about 6 hours away from the Suez Canal the day the attacks took place.

Whatever it is, you can Google it.

YOU BETTER ADJUST YOUR ATTITUDE! This is a common phrase we hear growing up as kids. And one that doesn't generally come with an instruction manual. I spent 20 years in the Navy and there was a manual


Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

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©2020 Ryan Charaba - First Wakeups LLC