See You In 2014…

Posted Posted in My Stories

Hello good folks, I’m writing to close it out for the year and say how much I look forward to 2014. I can’t even imagine what will happen here at A Clean Mind in 2014, as well as at my next blog, A Deep Mind. The focus of that one doesn’t seem appropriate here, even though this one keeps drifting towards the deeper end of the pool. We can’t help it… A Deep Mind will be much more specific with that. The specifics are probably what are not appropriate here.

I continue to change so much internally; it just keeps speeding up. It’s really blowing my mind, to be honest. This has been going on for years now. I look back on who I was even a month or a week ago – a week! – and I laugh. Seriously. It’s pretty wild. I’ve recently discovered some amazing teachings that I’ll be sharing at A Deep Mind. They might freak people out here. Wait – as soon as I typed that, I laughed and realized there’s no way they won’t creep in here. It’s all coming together.

There’s so much to cover and share here that it can feel overwhelming to me at times. I always try to get out of the way and let this stuff just flow out, so I have no doubt that the order of things will be just fine. It has so far, anyway. Recently it has come to me that one of the next core topics will be about our beliefs, because that will set the stage for what is to come. Because some pretty far out stuff is on the way. The world is changing pretty rapidly, in case you haven’t noticed. Those who are ready, which is you if you’re reading this, will be letting lots of ancient stuff go. We have to understand belief, though, first.

Here’s a preview… If we want real peace, then we have to open our minds and leave them that way. And it’s a process. Let’s make it very simple. My beliefs can be either true or not. If they are not true, then I’d like to know. As in now! I have to be open-minded for this to happen. And if my beliefs are true, then there’s no harm in being open, either. The truth is true no matter what, so if my beliefs are true, then what’s there to be worried about?? So either way, we are open-minded. I can see no case in which we benefit by having a closed mind. Can you?

So we’ll leave it at that. In the meantime, please consider accepting yourself wherever you are now and drop the judgment. It’s not helping, is it? This is the fast way. You are not qualified to judge (and neither am I), and there’s great relief in understanding that. Huge relief. Let it go. You are exactly where you need to be now. Why? Because that’s where you are now! When you accept this, then you’re ready to expand. And if you don’t feel like expanding, then don’t! That’s totally fine. It really is. There’s a a right time for everything.

Remember to relax and chill out some regarding the usual stresses this time of year, too. Wait – that’s where “chillax” comes from. Cool… If you need another dose, I’ve written about it a bunch. Just scroll down to the posts in November and December of the last two years. Other than that, you rock, keep doing your best, keep relaxing, keep breathing, I love you, you have support, and let’s do this thing! I’ll see you in 2014! Kick ass!!!

Christmas Redefined

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories

I have a client who has despised Christmas for years and years now. He is older than I am, and this has been going on for a while. When the holiday season rolls around each year, he circles January 1 on his calendar and just tries to make it until then. And then the countdown is on again. Not a good way to live. I’m so happy he came in, because it only took one conversation to change this. Feel the power, people!! Change can happen, and it’s all about how you think and how you see things. And this takes gentle practice, that’s all.

My client didn’t like the holiday season for two reasons. And yes, it’s past tense now – “didn’t” as opposed to “doesn’t” (after stopping and thinking about it objectively and openly for less than an hour – it’s amazing that’s even possible!). The first reason is that it reminds him of loved who are no longer here. He has memories of really awesome times with a couple of family members who have passed away. He remembers laughing a lot and just having fun. He loved them a lot, and he looked forward to the times such as the holidays that would bring them together. And they are not here anymore. And there’s nothing that can be done about that.

I suggested that he use this as a time each year to remember them and enjoy those good memories. The fact is their bodies have died. Much of this work is about pretty hardcore acceptance of what is. If you look really closely at your life, you might notice that most of your pain is caused by not accepting what has already happened. You don’t have to like it, but you have to accept it. Why? Because it has already happened. Let me know when we have a time machine, and I’ll gladly revise this policy. Until then, though, to not accept something that has already happened is like believing 1 + 1 = 3 and then hoping this doesn’t screw up your calculations. Preview: the new science I’ll be talking about coming up has some astonishing implications about time. It might not be as etched in stone as you might think. Okay, it’s not at all as etched in stone as we think. More on that later. We still have to accept the stuff that has already happened, though…

It’s not fun to accept that our loved ones have died, but if the deed is done then screw it – let’s go with it. If I’m reminded of them each year, then I might as well use this reminder to honor them and remember the good times. Close your eyes and just go back in time, and it should bring a smile to your face. And when sadness comes up, allow that to be there as well but with no commentary saying it’s bad. It’s normal, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Keep enjoying those good memories, though. Feel the love that will always be there if you really look. And I think you’ll find that over time, the sadness will be less and less acute and you’ll still have those good memories and the love that’s behind them.

The other thing he has not liked about the holidays is that they remind him of past “failures.” I put that in quotes because whenever someone talks about a failure, there’s usually a pretty obvious reframe that can happen. The simple fact is that there’s no authority out there saying that what happened was a “failure.” If so, please let me know of this authority. That’s an opinion, and we all know what they say about opinions. One of his perceived failures involved staying in the military a while back (which he did not). I told him the old Taoist parable called “who knows what is good or bad.” Read it! It’s very brief. I pointed out that he could easily be dead now or even paralyzed had he stayed in. We have literally no idea, so let’s not judge leaving the military as a failure. Is he qualified to make that call? Upon close inspection, hells no! When you know the future and what’s best for all involved, let me know. Then I asked if he would’ve met his decades-long wife had he stayed in. He said the odds would’ve been about zero. Zero. So we have that as well. Of course, we know by now that if we’re going to meet, we’re going to meet. It’s as simple as that. But part of their meeting probably involved his leaving the military. It was part of the plan.

Do you see how we’re looking at things more clearly and objectively? To say that leaving the military, and that’s just one example, is a failure is ridiculous when we step outside of ourselves and really look. But we have to step outside of ourselves and really look. Most people don’t do this, so another person can help. I’m saying why not also learn how to do it yourself? I’m learning, and it works better and better all the time with practice. So I’m not buying the whole “failure” thing. Again, we are simply not qualified to judge. It really is as simple as that. It’s very important to start to see this, because we do it all the time and it causes pain. Thinking we are qualified  to judge is nothing more than a very old habit. It’s just a pattern, so it really is no big deal. It just takes practice gently busting it and letting it go.

I’m very happy to share this Christmas story with you, especially since it has some common themes. We’ve all lost loved ones, and we all have some perceived “failures.” This story shows the power of how you see things. And taking an clear, objective look is the first step. Step outside of yourself when you do this. My client doesn’t despise Christmas for the first time in many years. He still might not love it, or he might, but circling January 1 on the calendar and trying to merely survive until then is not the ideal way to live! Screw surviving – we can do so much better! It’s our birthright, in fact, regardless of age, race, religion, gender, and all that. He has learned this now, and it didn’t even take very long. I just love this work… All the best to you, and as always, let me know if I can help!

Sweet Article: The Path to Inner Peace

Posted Posted in Other Cool Topics

I recently shared an excellent and very brief article on the Facebook page for A Clean Mind, and I realized that not everybody who reads this blog is on that page. Which is fine; I don’t even have a personal Facebook page myself. My mom says I should get one, though, to help spread this light more. And she is totally right. But I’m still scared, so I’ll wait a little longer.

Anyway, I recently picked up the November edition of Natural Awakenings magazine. Glancing at the table of contents, the article that jumped right out was one entitled, The Path to Inner Peace: 12 Steps to Spiritual Awakening. “How can I not read this?,” I thought. And I must admit that my expectations were pretty low. With a title like that, I was almost looking to see how bad it was. I think I was chuckling a bit, in fact. Twelve steps? Really? So I started to read, and it got very clear right away that this was the real deal. A very awesome article. It’s totally general and applicable to any human, so it really is hard to argue with. It’s universal, but so is the truth, isn’t it? There can’t be two truths, because then it wouldn’t be true. Keep this in mind when thinking about the different religions, by the way. There can only be one truth. Is it really that likely that one of them has it all right and the others don’t? Hell no. That’s ridiculous. When we look deeply at all of them, we start to see some commonalities. That’s where you’ll find the truth (read Religion 101). But we digress…

This article is basically about relaxing into how things are and not trying to always be okay. Realize that at some level we are okay and we don’t have to try. If you do something then do it. But don’t do it in order to be okay. You are already okay. Your life might not be exactly as you wish, but you are at least okay. I know this might sound a bit vague, so you’re best off reading the article for yourself. It’s only a couple of pages long, too. Do it!

The author is Michael Singer, and the link is here: http://bit.ly/17JP5BY. This is a very brief article that’s based on his book, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself. There’s a website as well, www.UntetheredSoul.com. I have neither read the book nor visited the website, but there are a couple of nice synchronicities here. I love them things… The first is that Singer founded a place called Temple of the Universe in Alachua, FL. Alachua is about fifteen miles north of Gainesville, where I was in math grad school from 2004-06. That’s when and where I dove head first into the spiritual world, practicing Arhatic Yoga and Pranic Healing pretty hardcore. Very hardcore. Knowing I was into all that “weird stuff,” my good friend in Gainesville told me about this temple. I think I even went there once, in fact, and then forgot about it until this article.

The second synchronicity (it takes me forever to type that word, by the way) is that days after reading this article, I connected with someone in Pensacola I had not met before. We have common friends and common interests, so we met for coffee/tea. I mentioned this article, and he said it reminded him of a book he had. He couldn’t remember the name of it or the author’s name. I asked if it was Michael Singer? The Untethered Soul? That was it! Love those synchronicities…

So check it out. And be on the lookout for any ego reactions in those first few steps, too. That would be common in most people, I think. If you notice this, simply observe it with innocence and maybe even light, gentle amusement. And keep reading. This is very simple and yet VERY powerful. So don’t be deceived… I’d read it a couple of times. It only takes a few minutes, anyway. The latter steps lay out where we’re headed. Happy reading, happy expanding, and as always, let me know if I can help.

Best. Session. Ever.

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories

Honestly, anytime someone has a shift, a release, a realization, or something like that, to me it’s the best session ever. This is a great one, though, because it covers lots of territory, all in one. So I’ll tell the story here.

This was our second session, two weeks after the first session. When we began, she told me that she almost cancelled because she had been feeling so good the last two weeks. She had been thinking, “This is kind of too good to be true.” Then she said she decided to embrace this awesome feeling and told herself, “Maybe this is how it can be now – maybe this really is me.” Great choice.

I said it’s not too good to be true. but there tend to be layers, so be ready for the next layer of old feelings or thoughts. But I told her that she knows the process now, so she knows what to do. Just keep doing the same thing – let feelings pass through without making a big deal about them and keep your thinking in check. Wash, rinse, repeat. I told her that the key is always catching any weeds as early as possible and whacking them right then and there. Mental and emotional weeds. And I said if she continues to do this as the layers come back, they’ll be weaker and weaker. She’s firmly on the path to peace.

At this point, we’re like five minutes into the session and we’re getting very close to our first fist bump. As you know by now, I get excited about things like this… I said that that awesome feeling is who you are – it’s your core. It’s just that it gets covered up. A lot. This path is always about undoing and unlearning, which is much easier and downstream than doing and learning. You don’t have to learn how to be who you already are. Just stop being who you are not. And that comes in the form of busting yourself in the moment and stopping. Love it…

My client initially came in assuming she was quite “screwed up” and would need lots of therapy. I told her towards the end of the first session something that I’ve said to many of my clients: “I hate to break it to you, but I’m pretty sure you’re not as messed up as you think. You just have to let go of stuff and work on your thinking.” She did this for two weeks and couldn’t believe the results. A cool thing happened, though. A couple days before coming back, she got into an argument with her boyfriend. And what did her mind do right away? It started talking about how she had lost what she had gained and she wasn’t doing it right. The mind likes to tell stories… But what did she do when she noticed this? She whacked it! She stopped it in its tracks and basically said, “No – I’m not going down that road.” She made a choice in a place where there had never been a choice before. She checked in with the feelings at the time and let them move on.

This really is how life can be, folks. Do you see the power of the mind? Re-read that last paragraph if not. In fact, re-read it anyway! It’s a great example of how simple it can be to change course, right there on the spot. The “I had peace and now I lost it” thing is a very common experience, but it’s really no big deal. Peace cannot be lost, but only covered up. The mind tries to take you down one road, a dark alley that you’ve gone down countless times. And you finally realize that you’re the one driving. You’re not a passenger. It’s so simple, but it takes a lot of practice for most of us (definitely for me). This is life-long stuff, though, so there’s no rush. The old way has years of momentum behind it, if not lifetimes. So we’re breaking a very old habit. They say that the path of a thousand miles begins with the first step, though. And that’s what a step looks like: noticing what your mind is saying and gently questioning it for truth. And if you don’t know for a fact that it’s true, you start the practice of ditching it. And then rejoice!

I have not seen that client in about a year now, and I don’t even remember her name or what she looks like. I just noticed that this post had been pretty much finished about a year ago but not published. I definitely remember how psyched I was that day, though, when she told me this. I wish her well wherever she is, and if she is reading this, then please call or email me! I’d love to know how the last year has been compared to the other years of your life. She drove over from somewhere west of here; that’s all I remember.

I’m so glad that I “stumbled upon” this almost-finished post, though, so that I can share it with you. This really is cool and powerful stuff, and we’re just getting started. I really have no idea where it’s going, but I’m digging the ride so far and I’m quite honored to be on it. All the best to you and best wishes on your own journey, which is the exactly same as mine – to the full awakening of the truth of who you really are. Hint: you are not small or weak, but quite the opposite. We will be talking about this more and more, and we’ll even be bringing cutting edge science into it. Peace out, great stuff…

So… How Did You Do?

Posted Posted in Uncategorized

Lots of people spend holidays like Thanksgiving with family they don’t often see, and there can be drama and past stuff dredged up like clockwork. This post is for those people. Now that Thanksgiving is over, how did you do? And notice that I’m not saying, “How did it go?” That’s focusing on the external. I’m interested in the internal – how did you handle whatever happened?

Let’s take it a step further, in fact, because this is such a great way to grow. Go ahead and give yourself a score from 1-10, with 1 being absolutely terrible and 10 being freaking awesome. Did you try to avoid some of the old pitfalls? Examples might be the same arguments with the same people over the same things… usually from the past. Or the same bad conversations about whatever. And maybe you didn’t try a damn thing because you were so resentful. Who cares! Let’s start exactly where we are, see it clearly, and give it a score. We will take a moment of silence while you do this.

(moment of silence…)

Okay, good work. Whatever score you just gave yourself, I want you to do it with humor. Have fun. Be as light as possible about the whole thing. Even if you’re thinking, “Man, I was pretty awful and I give myself a 3,” then own it and accept it. Laugh at how awful you were. But try to get a 4 next time. If you have to apologize or reach out to anyone, then do it. But don’t beat yourself up about it. Own it and release it, then do what you have to do (which might be nothing). But vow to get back on that horse and give it your best effort next time. Vow to do your best to grow and embrace the fact that you’ll get another shot next time. Unless they die… Which is why we want to get on with this stuff and do our best to heal our relationships as best we can. Sooner rather than later. Because we will feel so much better after we do this.

I have one client who had only been to see me once right before Thanksgiving, and she applied the teachings and her day went noticeably more smoothly than it otherwise would have gone. She has relatives who can be, shall we say, challenging, and she specifically remembers pausing before speaking. And it worked. Yes! They acted like they usually do, and she got the usual impulses to react. She didn’t react, though. Instead, she simply watched that impulse and noticed it. It moved on pretty quickly, and then she calmly chose her words. The impulse or feeling did not do the talking; she did the talking. And what came out was different than what would’ve come out had she allowed the same old reaction to happen. And the tone was different (tone is SO huge, by the way). And the quality of the day was much better than it would’ve otherwise been. She knows this because they do this every year. What a GREAT use of Thanksgiving! And what an excellent measuring stick. She gets a high score, and she deserves it. She learned something only a week before, applied it, and got a better result. That’s what this work is all about. Love it…

That’s all for now – I just wanted to take a look at Thanksgiving while it’s still fresh, since it’s such a good measuring stick for so many of us. Rate yourself and then own the score. And be as light as possible about it. And if there’s room for improvement, then do your best to grow. Reading this blog serves that purpose, and there’s a ton of other material out there that can help as well. We will probably revisit this topic soon because Christmas is coming up.

What you can do in the meantime is go ahead and mentally take a look at any upcoming holiday interactions that are typically stressful. Own it and prepare yourself. Think about it. Check out the Tools & Techniques category of this blog. Then do this… predict your score. Set a goal. What would you like to get, a 7 or 8? A 5? Whatever it is, it gets you thinking about it. You’re putting your mind to work for you and tapping into its immense power. Then after Christmas, you can score yourself and compare it to your goal. This can be a pretty powerful way to go about things. We’ll probably be talking more about this informal scoring thing since I’ve recently been having clients do it with various aspects of their lives. It helps to focus the mind, and that can make all the difference.