Do You Really Live This Way??

Posted Posted in My Stories

A client and I were in the middle of our first session, and we were covering the usual mind-blowing stuff about thoughts, feelings, letting go, relaxing, etc. Letting go and relaxing even when you’re busy and even when you’re making tough decisions. Just practicing this and doing your best. Because you still have to do what you’re doing, so you can practice being tight about it or you can practice relaxing your body as you do it. Either way, you’re practicing and perfecting something. So we’re simply talking about two ways of doing the same things in life that we’re going to be doing anyway. I prefer the latter.

At some point, she asked me, “Do you live this way?” And I replied that of course I do, that’s why I went back to grad school in my mid-thirties for a major career change. I’d begun to find some peace (emphasis on “begun”), and I wanted to make it my job to share it. Being a counselor was the only thing I could come up with to get the ball rolling. And rolling it is! It’s totally just beginning, too, and it’s really fun to see how it unfolds. Who knows?

Right away, I realized that what she was really asking was if I still have low moods, “bad days,” etc. And she caught that, too, and asked me that as a follow-up question. And my answer was that of course I do! And she was pleased to hear that. She wasn’t pleased because she’s evil and wants me to suffer, but rather because it meant that this wasn’t an impossible task. It wasn’t all or nothing. It’s something you simply practice, and you don’t judge how you’re doing along the way. You’ll notice it from time to time, but you don’t have to judge it. You just keep practicing.

We had a good laugh at this, which is always nice. Laughter is so powerful. So I explained that moods go up and down. That’s just what they do. When you learn that the cause is your thinking, though, and not the world directly, a lot of power has just shifted your way. Over time, you’ll notice that the low moods aren’t as low, they don’t come as often, and they don’t last as long. A more scientific way of saying this is less frequency, less duration, and less intensity. And that’s a great thing.

When you start to practice A Clean Mind, you get more in tune with your body. You know that your body has a very helpful alert system called feelings that tell you to check in with your thinking. You start to catch it earlier and earlier, when you’re just started to feel bad instead of when you already feel terrible. And you do things to change directions, starting with a relaxing breath. And a change in thinking to just sticking with the facts of the situation. If you need to, you can go for a run or a paddle. You see a movie or hang out with a friend. Those things get your mind off of what it was on. The power of distraction is great…

So definitely know that I’m not bullet proof by any stretch of the imagination. But that’s the direction I’m going, along with my clients, friends, family, and so many others these days. The bar gets raised as far as what it takes to rattle us. You’ll notice that the same things will happen, and you’ll be less rattled. When you notice this, celebrate! And give yourself a pat on the shoulder. That means it’s working. And then something really big will happen and you’ll be rattled. That’s okay, though; it just shows you where you’re at. There’s no success or failure, just learning and growing. And we have fun, too. That’s important. So happy weekend everyone. I’m off for the rest of the day, so I’m going to visit some friends I haven’t seen in years who are on vacation at a nearby beach. And I’ll take the paddleboard with me, too.

An Update

Posted Posted in My Stories

Hi folks, long time no talk! May this find you well. Just a quick update here. I think I’ve told you that I’ve been working about half time at a very powerful place called Gulf Breeze Recovery (GBR). It’s an inpatient drug and alcohol rehab where people go for a minimum of six weeks. I’ve learned some key things there that’s greatly helped the work that I do, and I haven’t yet updated my website to reflect that. Lots of my recent ideas for blog posts reflect the new info, but that’s not there yet. So I’m sort of wading through that as far as the best way to proceed and the first thing to do. I’ve decided to use this time to reorganize my website, so who knows what the time frame is. It’s time for an overhaul, though, at this stage of my learning. It’ll be well worth it. There will be more short videos, too. Because that’s a very good way to transmit this powerful stuff that we talk about.

In the meantime, let me talk briefly about what I’ve learned at GBR and recommend an excellent book for learning this stuff. They teach something called the Three Principles. They are not a 12-step program, which is the most common type of rehab. That works great for many people, but for many others it does not. It comes from the “disease model” of talking a lot about what’s wrong with you (having a disease called addiction). At GBR, they’re not saying to go out and do whatever you’ve been addicted to. So let’s be clear about that. But they’re all about showing you what’s right with you. They’re pointing people to the health, peace, and wisdom that’s inside of them 100% of the time and that can only be covered up by their thinking. If it sounds simple, it is. It’s just that we’ve been conditioned to not believe this for a very long time.

So here’s the two minute version of the Three Principles. Actually, this is the 30-second version. I’ll leave the heavier lifting to the book I’m recommending and to future blog posts. Here we go… If you look closely, you’ll see that your experience comes from your thinking and not directly from the world itself. There’s always that layer of thought, even when it’s invisible thinking. Thus your experience in life comes from inside of you. It’s not what happens; rather, it’s how you see what happens. And this perception comes from your thinking.

Then there are feelings. See if this is true for yourself. A feeling is just the flip side of a thought. There’s no such thing as a feeling without a thought. So feelings go from being a nuisance to being an ingenious alert system of the body that points you to look at your thinking in that moment. The body can’t lie. Your feelings simply reflect what you’re thinking in that moment. That’s very powerful, and very helpful.

When you see this, it can change your life. And it’s not about positive thinking, either. It’s simply about the fact that my feeling comes from my thinking; my thinking is the source of how I feel. When you see that, you naturally start to pay attention to what you’re thinking. And you see that you’re the one doing it. So you have a choice now. And I just say stick to the facts. So this is not about positive thinking. We also start to take our thinking less seriously. It’s just my thinking. Nobody else even knows.

Another thing to note is that this isn’t about stopping thoughts or preventing them form coming in your head. That’s not possible anyway. It’s all about what you do with those thoughts. Do you grab onto them? Or do you just observe them and let them pass. Like standing on the side of the road watching cars go by, they’ll go right on down the road and will be out of your awareness if you just let them. When you grab onto the bumper, though, that’s when it has the power to drag you down the road. And that’s a painful way to live.

I’ll write soon about a book that will explain this MUCH better than me. In the meantime, though, it’s called Somebody Should Have Told Us by Jack Pransky. I recommend this for every human. It’s all about the facts of what makes up a human experience regardless of age, race, gender, religion, favorite food, etc. Facts are facts. Do it! And I’ll write more about it very soon. In the meantime, peace out, don’t be too serious, enjoy life even when you’re busy, and be open to the possibility that peace and wisdom just might be literally inside of you right now. Right now! All you have to do is get out of the way. That’s what this work and this book are all about, and there will be much, much more to come on that. That’s what the Three Principles are all about. Thanks for your patience while I retool my website and get it updated, too. I really appreciate that. Thanks, enjoy the book, and much love to you!