Tormented No More

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories

I had an awesome session with a client yesterday. Really awesome. I was so pumped afterward that I was jumping around the office, looking for someone to high-five. There was nobody around, so I high-fived the air. Counselors do this sometimes… My client came in a changed man, and I did not see it coming. I did not expect it at that time. And it took me a while into the session to realize how major his shift was, too. So that made it even more cool for me.

Before he arrived, I looked at my notes from our last session, which was about six weeks ago. At that time, there were some major tests coming up for him that would affect which way his career went, including possibly changing jobs and moving to a new city. In all honesty, it hadn’t been looking too promising that he’d pass those tests. And since he called and made the appointment at the last minute, I prepared myself that the worst case scenario might have happened. That would’ve been okay, though, because we had prepared for that during several other sessions. If you just go there and get cool with the worst case scenario, then anything else is gravy (Maybe that’s not the best analogy for a vegetarian… It could be soy gravy, I guess. Wait, that’s kind of gross. Never mind.). And by getting cool with the worst case scenario, I’m not talking about jinxing it or wallowing or assuming a certain outcome is going to happen. We release the outcome completely, getting out of the “control the future” game. That game never ends well. Perhaps you’ve experienced that; I certainly have. We simply accept that this outcome might happen. “Yep, that might happen,” we tell ourselves. And we breathe deeply into whatever feeling comes up, like tightness in the head or chest or even a knot in the stomach. And it loosens up and moves on. And we know then that we will be fine if that “worst case” happens.

So he came in and the best case had happened. Excellent! There are tougher tests coming up, but he is a changed man. And he’s still cool with the worst case scenario. It might not be fun, but he will absolutely be fine if that happens. He’ll still have an excellent life. So how did he pass those tests? He got out of his head. Yes! You’d never know by looking at him, but he had a pretty rough past. His mother was extremely mentally ill and extremely abusive. His parents had divorced when he was young, and his dad wasn’t around until my client finally couldn’t handle living with his mother anymore. He called his dad and said it was time for him to step up and take over. His dad stepped up, and they’ve been very close ever since, still talking daily.

I mention the past because that’s what would constantly come up in the form of tormenting thoughts, tormenting mind chatter (read Thoughts 101, The Voice In The Head). Do you know what he finally realized in those six weeks leading up to this past session? He realized that he was the one doing the talking! If I’m doing the talking in my head, then why on earth would I talk in a loud, mean way?? That is crazy! And most people do it…

It’s literally nothing more than a bad habit, a painful habit. And habits can be broken. It might take some time, but it can happen much faster than you might think. He started the simple practice of letting go of that voice when he noticed it. And then there was silence up there. And then he would switch to his real thinking, which is calm, conscious, and active, as opposed to frantic, unconscious, and passive. It’s like a recording that’s always playing, unchecked. No more for this guy. He moves over to his real voice and simply looks at what the chatter was all about. Now he’s in control. He can look to gently see if those thoughts are true. He can look at what he can control in the situation versus what he can’t control. This is how solutions come up. It’s a different ballgame.

One of the thoughts that his mind would constantly bring up was a very old fear of abandonment and fear of being alone, which are pretty much the same thing in this case. He felt abandoned by his mother long ago, and he basically was. She was not a very good mother, and that was her best. I think she’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia, which can be pretty intense. Finally he had to leave, because his and his siblings’ survival depended on it. Literally. He’d been playing this abandonment sound track in his head over and over for years, and now he’s finally stopped to take a look at it. And you know what? He hasn’t been abandoned! And he is certainly not alone. He has a close relationship with his dad and his sister. And he has lots of friends. So that voice has been wrong for years. It’s screwed up some of his relationships, too, causing him to hang on too long for fear of being alone. He just didn’t know that he could stop, look it what that voice was saying, and check it out for truth. He had been treating it as if it were an external voice over which he had no control. That would suck!

No matter how loud your mind chatter is, it is not anyone else but you doing the talking. And you can stop it. And it’ll come back. And you let it go again. Wash, rinse, repeat. Over time, the volume gets turned down and it simply loses its power. Mine still talks all the time, but it’s a non-factor in my life. It’s like a little kid trying to get your attention. No big deal. This sounds simple, but for many people on earth right now, it’s literally the difference between living a tormented life or not. And your thoughts create your feelings, which we’ll be talking about more and more this year, so thinking this way means feeling much more terrible than you otherwise would. Anxiety, depression, etc. No bueno.

So take a look at your mind chatter and try to see for yourself that it’s you doing the talking! Then you have a choice to practice talking differently. Softer, gentler. And much, much less. Most of the time that chatter is totally useless, not accomplishing anything. This is 2014, and that’s an old habit from a bygone era. Take a breath and let it go. And don’t yell at it when it comes back. Don’t resist it or make a problem out of it. I’ve already tried that, and it doesn’t work too well… Of course it’ll come back. But you’ll see that that’s fine. And over time, it’ll become less and less a factor in your life. And your peace will go way up, for no reason at all. Now that’s pretty cool.

Two Simple New Year’s Resolutions

Posted Posted in Other Cool Topics

Happy 2014, folks! I’m pretty pumped. You’ll see why as the year goes on (or as this post goes on). But this year is BIG. There’s some serious “out with the old, in with the new going on.” It’s actually “out with the old, in with the older that has always been there but has just been covered up for a long time.” That’s more accurate, but I guess it doesn’t have the same ring. It’s a bit long, too. We’re simply letting go of the BS we’ve made a habit of identifying with for so long, and our innate inner wisdom is able to come through more and more. You were born with this wisdom, and there’s nothing you could ever do to change that. Isn’t that good news? Doesn’t that feel so good?? Just relax into that for a minute…

Speaking of which, one very simple New Year’s Resolution that you might want to try this year is to relax more. I don’t necessarily mean going and getting a massage more or doing something external like that, although that’s great, too. I’m talking about simply relaxing your body whenever you think of it. It’s a 24/7 thing. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, just take one deep breath and relax your body and let go. Then continue doing what you were doing, even if it’s super stressful or “serious.” This is so simple that you might not see the immense power. If you look more closely, though, you’ll see that with this relaxation comes acceptance of what’s going on. You can’t relax and be resistant at the same time. So you’re kind of saying, “Okay, this is what’s happening right now, I got this, one thing at a time, no big deal.” This alone can change your life. Really.

The other New Year’s Resolution is to use your intuition more. If you are already living this way, then that’s great. You’ve seen the results, so keep it up as you wish. If not, though, then that’s fine. Just try it, though. Go with your gut more. This is like a muscle that can be developed with practice. Your intellect isn’t going anywhere, so don’t worry about that. If anything, it’ll become sharper because the noise will be turned down over time. So go with your instinct, your feeling, more and more and notice the results. You might find that it’s usually right. Many of us are afraid to trust this, though. We might have control issues or something like that. You are definitely letting go of your control when you do this, but remember that it’s actually an illusion of control. You aren’t really in control (read Control Freak!). And that’s a good thing. Why? Because I’m not qualified! I’d rather let something much bigger, smarter, and more powerful take the reins.

If you aren’t used to using your intuition and letting your inner feeling lead the way on decisions, it might feel scary at first. If that’s the case, then you can start by trying it out with small things. Where should I go for lunch? What should I order? Which route should I take to work today? Exercise that muscle and it’ll grow. You’ll also find that you can balance this with your thinking mind as well. So you won’t just become an idiot. Your mind might protest and tell you that you will, though. Your mind is wrong.

Those are my two New Year’s Resolutions, and I invite you to try them out as well. They’re pretty simple. And of course there’s no success or failure, and there’s definitely no beating yourself up about how you’re doing. No big deal. You might also notice as you do this that these two things tie into each other. The more you simply relax into the moment, the more your intuition can come to the surface. It’s pretty cool. So relax this year and have fun! We’re going to have a lot of fun here at A Clean Mind. I’m very psyched about it. My clients are, too. They’re shedding stuff left and right. Old patterns are dropping like flies. That was the old way and we are done with that, people! It’s a new day and there’s a much better way to live, and we’re doing it now. So… Happy 2014!