Ep #287: Passing Through Neutral
This episode builds on the last one, Pure Circumstance, so if you didn’t listen to it yet, go listen to that first and come back.
Today we’re talking about how to apply the concept of pure circumstance in order to pass through neutral.
Passing through neutral allows us to rest in a space of worthiness and wholeness between models. It’s a place without language, judgment, or striving to feel better.
Passing through neutral can be incredibly healing.
In this episode, we’ll review the concept of pure circumstance and talk about how it relates to the practice of passing through neutral. I’ll walk you through a real-life application of passing through neutral to illustrate why it is such a valuable tool to add to your mental toolbox.
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What You will discover
- How to apply the concept of pure circumstance and allow yourself to rest in a neutral space.
- Why it’s easier to pass through neutral on the way to a positive model than trying to jump there immediately.
- What you’ll feel when you pass through neutral.
- Why the feeling of neutrality is so healing.
- How passing through neutral will help you remember that you are ultimately the cause of all your thoughts, feelings, and results in life.
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Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
What’s up? Hey friends. Wow, has it been an exciting week. We have just been having all the things happen. All the exciting things. Two things I want to tell you about though.
One is that I offered my first writing retreat. It sold out within minutes, so wow, I guess that writing retreats are something y’all want. So I’m super excited about it. It’s coming up in a couple weeks here. And we’re going to spend some time writing and talking about our writing and hanging out together and I’m bringing my puppies and we’re going to walk the puppies and do all the things.
So it sold out so quickly a lot of people didn’t get even a chance. So I am going to be offering another one. It’s going to be at a beach house this time. I’m debating whether we need to do a lottery or whatever. I had everyone fill out an application and everyone was legit awesome.
So it wasn’t like there was anyone that wasn’t ready to go or didn’t have a project to write on. So I will be doing more of these. I love the idea of a writing retreat and you guys clearly do too. So let’s pick the most magnificent places to go and do writing retreats.
The other couple things that are coming up that are super exciting. I said there were two things. I’m going to tell you about three actually. The next one is I am doing a course workshop with my beloved Stacey. Stacey Boehman. And I sent her a text and said hey, I think we should teach a class together called selling expensive things.
And she text back, 100%, I’m in, let’s do it. I didn’t give her any other details. Just the title of the class and she’s all in. And so I said to her hey, let’s do it somewhere beautiful and amazing with an amazing view, and then just last weekend I went to the Four Seasons in Las Vegas and it was unbelievable.
We had the presidential suite, which means we had a 180-degree view of the mountains, the strip, and all the airplanes at the airport, which I loved. It was fun. The room was gorgeous, everything was gorgeous. So we are going to be doing a retreat called How to Sell Expensive Things, and I am super excited about that.
That’s going to be another crazy thing that sells out super quickly. So we just don’t have enough room for all the people that want to come but that, I’m super excited about, looking forward to. I will be telling you more information about that. I’m going to have Stacey on the podcast, we’re going to talk about selling expensive things and talk about that retreat workshop course.
And I only say course because it’s a two-day course with me and Stacey, not because it’s going to be an ongoing course. We’ll probably offer it once a year because my guess is we’re going to have fun. Stacey and I, when we get together and talk about selling, that could be a three-hour conversation. We have so much fun talking about it.
So I’m excited to teach that class on expensive things. We’re going to have some guest speakers come in from all the fancy sales places and do an evening panel and dinner and come on.
The third thing that we’re going to do, I might even get busted by Kara for even talking about this, but just a little teaser. I asked Kara if she wanted to go on a trip. Kara Loewentheil, in case you’re wondering which Kara. I asked her. I said hey, do you want to go on a trip? And she said yes. Again, I didn’t say where, I didn’t say for how long. She just was like, yes, I’m in.
So we’ve decided to go to Portugal and we’re going to do a two-day coaching retreat in Portugal for any of y’all who want to come to that. So stay tuned, my friends. Kara replied to me, she’s like, is this our life? Is this real life? Are we living real life? I’m like, absolutely. This is how we roll.
I’m going to go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and do a writer’s retreat. I’m going to go in April to the Four Seasons Presidential Suite and do a how to sell expensive things retreat, and then I’m going to go – I think we’re going in May to Portugal. We’re going to go to Portugal and do a coaching – a two-day coaching retreat.
We were laughing like can you imagine being coached by me and you for two days? That’s going to be a game-changer. So for me, it’s all just fun and exciting and amazing. So I’m happy that these things are coming up and I know – now listen, do not email my staff about this freaking out. That’s what happened last time.
Do not email them. We will email you when they are upcoming so you can apply or get ready for enrollment. So please don’t email them. We will email you. Make sure you’re on my email list. Make sure you’re on Stacey’s email list. Make sure you’re on Kara’s email list. Get on the list, people.
Today we’re going to talk about passing through neutral. Now, you are not allowed to listen to this podcast unless you have listened to last week’s podcast because you will be completely confused if you don’t understand pure circumstance when I’m talking about passing through neutral.
So if you listened to pure circumstance and you don’t understand what the heck is happening or what it means or anything like that, please go back and listen to it again and try to get it conceptually before you listen to this one. Because a lot of times, you get things on different levels and I just want to make sure that you get it at the deepest level before you start trying to utilize and apply this concept to your life.
This is a game-changer concept. So I want you to remember that pure circumstances are circumstances in your life without language. They don’t require language. And the reason why I’m teaching you about this concept is because most of us think that our ideas about things are actually the things themselves.
We mistaken our stories about things for the actual things. We mistake our interpretation of things for the actual things. And we start having relationships with our stories about things instead of having relationships with the actual things.
So one of the ways to think about this in a very kind of fascinating way is to think about where we exist. And we exist in our own brains as a concept. The concept of ourselves exists in our brains. So when I ask you about you, you have a concept in your brain about you. Thoughts about yourself.
And when I ask you about me, if I were to say tell me about me, tell me about Brooke, you would think about your concept of me. Not your direct experience of me. See what I’m saying? You have thoughts about me and they’re all probably magnificent and wonderful, which I’m genuinely hoping.
But even beyond your thoughts about me, there are things that you like about me, things that maybe you disagree with about me. All of those are your concepts. You have ideas about who I am, about what I stand for, about maybe you consider me your teacher. Those are all concepts, ways that you define me in terms of your own brain.
And you actually are having a relationship with me as a concept. Isn’t that a trip? So even when you think about my name, you think about the language of my name, there’s me and then there’s my name. They are different things. There’s me and then there’s the description of me, which is a separate thing.
Pure circumstance, the pureness of me is only your direct experience of me. And that is your experience of my voice right now without interpretation, without language. If we were in the same room, your direct experience of me without interpretation, without language. That is pure circumstance.
So if you didn’t listen to that before, I just want to make sure that you go back and understand the difference between the concept of something, the idea of something, the cognition of something, versus the actual something. And once you understand that, once you get that and you’re able to differentiate between that, the goal is not to always only have direct experience without language because we would miss our humanness.
What’s amazing about being a human being is also what’s awful about being a human being. When you think about the animals that don’t have language the way that we do, they don’t suffer emotionally the same way that we do. But they also don’t experience and create the way that we do either.
So the reason for me teaching you about pure circumstance is not so you can stay there and live there and be happy sitting on a bench in the rain. That’s not the goal at all. I just want you to know that associating and learning the concept of pure circumstance gives you a respite. It gives you a place to rest and land in between your models and in between and on your way to creating what you want to create.
So what I have termed this as is passing through neutral. Now, this is a concept that I’ve taught in kind of a beginner format earlier in the podcast and I teach this in Scholars too is sometimes you can’t go from a negative thought to a positive thought because it’s too far away. And in order for you to feel the effect of a positive thought, you have to actually believe that positive thought.
So what I’ve taught is sometimes it’s easier to shift from I hate my body to I have a body, to I love my body. So I have a body is passing through neutral. It’s passing through a circumstance, a fact, to give you a respite from the negative emotion. So I have taught you this same process where the neutral landing space, the space in between models is just neutral facts.
That concept and that idea and that skill still very much stands as something that I want to you to learn and as something that is super useful. So when I have clients that are talking about people that they’re angry at, I just coached someone the other day and I was coaching her on her husband’s ex-wife.
And even her just saying ex-wife was so loaded for her. Even though it’s a fact, that’s my husband’s ex-wife, it was a fact, it was so loaded with emotion for her, it wasn’t neutral. It wasn’t helping her get through neutral, so we were changing around the terminology so she could find a place of neutrality.
She’s a woman in the world. She’s another human woman. Notice how we’re still using language for her to get to the C line. Now, one of the things, one of the next layers of this work is passing through neutral without language. And one of the reasons why I’m teaching you this concept is so you can understand that without words in your brain, you are at peace.
You are at neutral. You are without judgment. You are without suffering. You are without any emotional pain. And if you can utilize that as a skill, simply releasing language from your mind, releasing language from speaking for a moment, you can find a place of neutrality before you start thinking again. That’s what this podcast is about. It’s called passing through neutral.
And so basically, you will live within a pure circumstance for a period of time before you create new thoughts and a new model for yourself. One of the things that I want to make clear again and reiterate again is how important it is to recognize the steps of this process.
Step number one is always going to be recognizing that you are the cause of all your negative emotion. Your thinking is optional and you are choosing to think a thought, whether consciously or unconsciously that brings you pain. Now, when I teach this concept to people, they immediately want to push away those negative thoughts.
When I tell them hey, that negative thought causes you pain, they’re like, forget it, I don’t want to think it, delete, delete, delete, delete, push away, push away, resist, resist, replace, replace, replace. Now, this is fine in the beginning and this is actually how I teach beginners because in the beginning, feeling the effect of different thoughts is really that first layer of work.
Just understanding that when you think a different way, you feel a different way can be the most amazing experience. I remember when I first figured that out. I couldn’t believe that I could try on thoughts like I could try on clothes and that I could stop thinking a thought and feel incredibly better, and then think a thought and feel incredibly worse. And just trying them on and off.
So that always is the first step. The next step is really understanding that there is no thinking and no feeling that you can’t feel. So there’s no hurry, there’s no resistance, there’s no urgency that needs to be included in this process. If you feel yourself trying to get to a new thought, trying to find a new way to feel, trying to believe new things so hard, and it’s not working, it’s because you’re not willing to be with the model that you are with.
Now, why is this so important? If you have a model, let’s say you’ve done a coaching model and your thought is I’m not good enough and you feel worthless when you think that. You immediately are trying to push against worthless and believe something about yourself that will feel better because you’re seeing the effect of that model, the way you act in the world and the results that you get aren’t what you want.
So you immediately want to get to a place where you’re thinking and feeling better. What that does when you do that, when you try to replace your model too quickly is you push against the old model. So you haven’t let it go. You haven’t released it. It’s still there. You’re just trying to feel better about it.
So it’s almost like you’re compensating with new thoughts to cover up the old thoughts. This does work, by the way. This is way better than helplessly feeling like you have no control over your mind. But it is not permanent. And so that’s why this process of going from a negative model to neutral, to a positive model is so much more powerful because it requires you to fully release the first model.
And the best way to fully release the first model is to own it completely. Notice that when you own something, you have the authority to then donate it. You have the authority then to get rid of it. When you don’t own it and you pretend that it isn’t there, it’s much more difficult to release.
So you start with a negative unintentional model, you recognize it, you become aware of it. Now, the first sign of it is your feelings. You’re feeling negative. That means that you have a negative model. So any time you’re having negative emotion or negative mood or you’re having negative results in your life, it’s because you have a negative model.
So step one is to become aware of it. Step two is to own it, digest it, be willing to feel it, recognize that you’re the cause of it for as long as it takes without being in a hurry. The next step is to neutralize it, to pass through neutral.
And the first way to do that is to simply identify the facts of the situation and to recognize that the facts are neutral. Facts don’t feel. So when you’re able to recognize that, it’s neutral. Now, the next step, which is what I’m going to teach you right now, which is kind of a deeper layer of that is to let go of all language associated with the situation and drop in to pure circumstance. Drop in to pure neutral, to be with the situation without words.
No story. No risk. Nothing there. It’s just simply releasing. There’s no story, there’s no words, there’s no sentences, there’s no judgment. There’s no trying to feel better. There’s simply nothing. Once you’re in this place, once you’ve passed through this, once you’ve been in neutral, then you have a clean sheet of paper.
And you will know because there will be no negative emotion there. There will be nothing there. You will recognize that the only thing that’s ever caused you any pain around this situation is words. And when you get that on the deepest level, it’s pure neutral. It’s pure circumstance. There is nothing.
And then from there, you can create a new vision for yourself, a new way of thinking about it. But it’s not in order to get rid of the old one. It’s not in order to compensate for the old one. It’s not in order to push away the old one. It’s simply a new way of being, a new way of thinking. I’m going to give you an example. We’re going to go back to the ex-wife example.
So I’m the new wife in this example. This is hypothetically. I’m the new wife. I’m just actually going to be my client for a minute for the sake of demonstration. I’m married to my husband and my husband has an ex-wife. And the ex-wife is suing us and trying to take our money.
And in this process, I am frustrated, I’m outraged, I’m hurt, I’m aggravated, let’s say. And so I have all this negative emotion. And the thought is she’s a terrible person. I cannot stand her. And I feel all those emotions. I feel vengeful and frustrated and mad and rageful. And I act in a way that’s defensive and not kind, let’s say, and avoidant.
And the result is that not only do I feel that way towards her now, not only has she become a terrible person, but now I’m acting like a terrible person. So the result is and what proves is that there’s terrible people in the world because now I’m one and now she is because of the way she’s acting and because of the way that I’m acting. So the result is always going to prove that initial thought, which is she’s terrible, which means humans can be terrible people.
Okay, so that’s my first model. And I am looping and looping and looping in that model and I can’t find my way out and I feel so justified. She’s done so many things, she’s said so many things, she’s acted in so many ways that are so terrible. She really is a terrible person.
But the more terrible I think she is, the more terrible I act, the more terrible there is. The more terrible I feel, and my husband feels, and she probably clearly feels, and our kids probably feel. So I want to get to the place where I can pass through neutral in this situation, but there’s so much drama here. There’s so much defensiveness. There’s so much resistance here.
So if I try to go to a new thought, if I try to go to a new model, I’m going to think something like it’s all going to be okay. This is part of the process. It’s worth it to be married to my new husband. I’m going to get through this. Let’s say those are all thoughts that I keep trying to think and believe.
But notice that they’re all in defense of my current model. They’re all trying to compensate for my current model, which I think is not my fault, which I don’t recognize owning or having authority over. I’m just trying to feel better about my current model. Are you guys following me?
But when I pass through neutral, I have to get to the point where I recognize that this situation without my added language is neutral, is nothing, is pure. So what happens is I see her in my mind’s eye and I see myself and I don’t add any language to it. I don’t add any words to it. I don’t add any interpretation or judgment or anything because I can’t use words. I can’t even use the word ex-wife. I can’t even use the word woman.
I have to get to the direct experience of this other entity, let’s say, but you can’t even use that word, but I’m identifying this direct experience. And I’m breathing into the space that we share without language. What? So I want you to – who are you in relation to this person if there’s no words, if there’s no language, if there’s no sentences?
It’s a very important mindful process. It’s also intellectual because you have to notice and release cognition. You have to notice and release thoughts, notice and release words as they come in. And your brain will be like, but, but, but. Now listen, your brain’s going to be mad about this because your brain likes words. Your brain likes to think. And you can tell your brain, we’ll get back to that, but we have to pass through neutral.
So what you will notice when you’re in neutral is that you are the cause of all of it. Because when you let go of words, the words that you’ve chosen to think, the sentences that you’ve chosen to think, there’s nothing there to upset you. Nothing. It all just is.
It’s the most interesting thing. You can breathe it in as a direct experience and you can feel the sensations of human experience, of being alive without words. And it’s almost laughable. It’s almost like wait, what? This is all just BS. This is all just made up. This is all just stories.
Now, that’s not a bad thing, my friends. That’s how we live the human experience. We interpret and make things mean things and we use language, and that’s all beautiful until it’s not. And so the problem that we have, the problem that we run into as humans is we forget that we’re making it all up. We forget that it’s all just words placed upon experience that we think mean something.
So when we pass through neutral, we just remind ourselves that this is all just made up stories. This is all just subtitles that we’ve added to the play. The subtitles aren’t even real. They’re just sentences that we’ve written in there. So when we can go to neutral, it gives us this like, laughable separation. It’s like I described it in last week’s podcast. It’s like a piece of glass in between ourselves and our stories and we can just take a break in that moment and release it all.
And you’ll feel like the true reality of what it means to be human to flooding back in, and you’ll realize how much you’ve been pushing it away with all of your words and language. And what that does is it allows you to pass through neutral.
We get relief from pure wholeness and pure worthiness first. We get a relief into pure wholeness and pure worthiness first. Now, here’s what that feels like because we’re not putting words around it. What you recognize in that moment is that you are whole and you are complete and you are worthy and so is the ex-wife, and so if your husband.
Without language, that’s the only truth that’s left. And you don’t even think it. You just experience it. You’re not better than the ex-wife, she’s not better than you. She’s not any less worthy than you. It doesn’t even matter what was done or what wasn’t. Without words, it’s nothing.
And we get the relief into that and it’s pure circumstance. It’s pure worthiness. You experience being alive with your body, without language. For a minute, for an hour, sometimes you want to experience it for a day around this situation, for longer, until you can make yourself fully neutral. And I think full neutrality is incredibly healing.
It’s experiencing the world without language. It’s the direct experience of other people, of being alive without our language interfering with it. You guys know that I love The Matrix. You know that’s my show. And you’re plugged into the matrix, you’re getting all these thoughts from the matrix that is making you think you’re alive, that is making you think you’re having a wonderful life.
And when you are unplugged from the matrix, all of that story disappears. And at first, it can be super shocking to recognize that you’re not even having an experience of the world. You’re having an interpretation of the world. You’re not even having an experience of another person. You’re just having a story about the other person. You’re just having thoughts about the other person.
And so this may make you a little bit nuts for a minute. But when you recognize that this is true, not only can you get relief from your negative stories but then you can start telling yourself stories that you want to live. If your life is about how you think and interpret the world, you want to script that story better than you have been.
And when you pass through neutral, you recognize the clean piece of paper that you have. You’ve released into neutral so you don’t even have to take any of the old with you. So let’s go back to our ex-wife example. I go to the place where I recognize that without words, there’s just pureness between us. There’s just worthiness. There’s just wholeness. There’s just humanness between all of us humans.
There’s this space, and you get to breathe into that and you can stop being mad and you can stop being hurt, you can stop being frustrated. And when you find that moment that is free of words and you get to just be in that space, everything relaxes. Your grip on everything relaxes. And in that moment, you can decide what you want your relationship to this circumstance to be.
You can decide what you want your relationship with the ex-wife to be. When you are free from all of the thoughts and all of the feelings that you have been creating, you can rewrite that script. And sometimes like I said, it can be very quick that you do that and sometimes it takes a long period of time.
But what makes it so amazing to pass through neutral is you start living in a conscious way where you are the cause of everything that’s happening in your life instead of being at the effect of pre-programmed conditioning. Instead of believing that the story is reality, you start recognizing that without words, there is no reality and that you’re literally making it up with your language.
There’s no positive, there’s no negative. Nothing means anything when you pass through neutral. You leave your mind out of it long enough to have a neutral reset. What simply is will be what is. Because there is no word to make it any otherwise.
This is what people do when they try to meditate. They breathe in and let go of thought. And most of us find this super challenging to let go of thinking. But I have found it to be much more accessible when I think about it as releasing myself from language, releasing myself from words, releasing myself from meaning for just a minute.
You make this conscious decision to breathe in and then decide what do you want this situation to be because you get to write the story. So instead of making this “negative” situation with your husband’s ex-wife better, you don’t take this bad situation and make it better. You completely release it and transform it.
You create it brand new. Because you’ve given yourself the blank sheet of paper by passing through neutral. What is this experience like without language? And then what language do I want to put to it moving forward to serve me and the world and to create the feelings and actions, results that I deliberately want to create?
I get to start from the beginning. Now notice, nothing changes with the other person. That ex-wife is not changing. She doesn’t need to because when you pass through neutral, you see the truth of her. And then you write the brand-new script.
Now, when you write the brand-new script and you step into it, if it doesn’t work, if it’s not believable, you have to go back and pass back through neutral as many times as it takes until you can write that new script. So, when I was coaching my lovely client, and I said to her, at some point you may be able to get to where you love her. Wouldn’t it be great if you loved your husband’s ex-wife? Wouldn’t that be great?
It would feel so much better than hating her. But why doesn’t she love her? Because she’s given all of her power to her and made her the one responsible for how she feels because she says well, she’s so mean. That’s why I hate her. She’s so mean, that’s why I hate her is giving the ex-wife complete power over how you feel and your negative emotion. You’re giving her credit for your feelings.
And I remember the first time I heard Byron Katie say that, she said I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it because I choose love. I choose to feel love. Loving unconditionally is one of the most selfish things you can do. Just feels amazing all of the time.
And whenever I feel any kind of hate or frustration at someone, I always know that I’m giving my power away. I always know that I’m justifying pain. I’m justifying my own suffering. And to what end? It doesn’t serve anything.
When you are passing through neutral, when you are taking that moment within neutral – now, this is different than pausing within a model, which I’ve taught you before. That’s a different concept. You’re actually releasing the entire model. And you’re resting in the C line with no language.
So it’s like you’re in between two models. Now, those two models are filled with words and filled with language and that’s a beautiful thing. But in between, when you’re passing through neutral, you want to release all language. No words, no control, no fixing, no talking, no understanding.
Simply letting go of each word used to describe, explain, understand, or fix. You want to be direct with what is there with no words. What’s it like to be where you are without words right now? You want to stay in pure circumstance neutral for as long as you can. Just keep releasing the words. Keep releasing the words. Keep releasing all the English letters.
If you know two languages, you got to release it in the other language too. All that languages. The more negative habitual language you have, the more challenging it will be for you to get to pure C. You simply must feel and see the thoughts with curiosity and release the words over and over and over again.
Now, this is a skill that I will be teaching. I’m going to teach this in my master coach training, I’m going to teach this to my students in Scholars. We’re going to practice this a lot. But I’ve given you enough to understand how to do it. I don’t want you to use confusion or frustration as a reason not to do this because many of you already know how to go from one model that feels negative to not feeling it.
Most of you use buffering. Most of you use what I call an escape button to avoid it. So this is your alternative to that. You feel your negative emotion and then you release all the words causing it. You move into the feeling long enough to find the words causing it and then you let the sentence go. You let the words go. The words cause the pain and suffering.
When you have no words, you have no emotional pain, no compulsion, no hurry. You are passing through neutral. You are having a direct experience. And when you’re there long enough, you will with ease then move into what you want to write the story, what you want your new model to be. And it will feel like a purification. It will feel like there is no limit to what thought you can choose to think.
Instead of trying to do a thought ladder, instead of trying to feel just a little bit better, when you’re able to truly pass through neutral, you can pick any thought you want and decide to believe it. Passing through neutral is the fastest way to get to the highest level of thought that is available to you.
And remember, the three ingredients are first, you have to be aware enough to find the feelings and the thoughts. Second, you have to be fearless enough to process and feel the negative thought. And third, you have to be willing to let go of all of the words that you’re so attached to.
All the sentences, all the opinions, all the judgments, and just be present with the situation without words. And recognize the wholeness and the pureness and the worthiness that is there with everything and everyone involved. You will notice the perfection in this moment and from there my friends, you get to write whatever you want. You get to live into whatever it is you want.
Your life is not what’s in the world. Your life is how you interpret the world, so you might as well do it deliberately, my friends. You might as well create the world that you want to live in because you’re already doing it.
Wow, I know that was a lot for some of you. I know that some of you are new and you’re like, this girl’s crazy. It’s okay if you think I’m crazy. We’re going to be back to our regular programming in the next podcast where I’ll have some more easily accessible tools for you to use.
But for those of you who have been with me a long time, for those of you who are ready for the next level of work, pure circumstance and passing through neutral. Have a beautiful week everyone. I’ll talk to you next week. Take care. Bye-bye.
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