The Hike, The Dog, & The Universe

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories, Cool Supernatural/Paranormal Stuff, My Stories

I had the coolest experience today. I went hiking for the first time at the trails out at the University of West Florida with my friend and her two huge chocolate labs. For many years, I’ve heard about these trails from lots of people that have mountain biked, run, and walked them, and I didn’t even know exactly where they were. Sure enough, right there at the edge of campus, there’s a ton of wooded land with a river on one side.

There are trails throughout, miles of them, so we picked one and started walking. We were talking, and then all of a sudden the younger dog was gone. He’s eighteen months old, and she’d expressed that he might do this. We called out for him and looked around, and he was nowhere to be found. Totally gone. We kept walking with the older dog for a while, then we turned around and headed back in hopes of finding him. And we learned in the meantime that the trails are not very well marked, so we actually got slightly lost at one point. It wasn’t to the level of the Blair Witch Project or anything, but it did make things a bit more interesting.

So we were walking back, and then we veered off onto a different trail that went over by the water. She said that the dog had bolted off that way the last time they’d been out there, and it’s also a really beautiful spot, so off we went. We got the the spot on the water, and there was no dog. Hmm… With no other options, and having walked several miles already, we started walking back towards the parking lot.

The dog had a tag on his collar, so we were hoping he’d either find his way back to the car, we’d find him, or someone would find him and call my friend. I had a feeling that it would turn out okay, and I’d even asked the universe when he first got lost to blow our minds if it wanted to. It just didn’t feel like losing a dog for good was going to happen on this day. Also my friend and I like to talk about the deep stuff when we hang out, and she’s involved in teaching and sharing it like I am. So it seemed like something cool was going to happen. I didn’t say any of this to her, though, because it might sound like I was minimizing it since it wasn’t my dog! And she would’ve been absolutely right. She later said she’d begun to have some waves of worry as the hike wore on, and how could she not. I’m sure I would have… And she barely said a word about it.

So here’s where it gets cool. After we started walking back, we crossed paths with two guys that were out running the trails. All of a sudden, there they were out of nowhere, face to face with us. We asked if they’d seen a chocolate lab and one of them said yes, with sort of an interesting look in his eye. But still, we’re thinking that there’s little chance that we’ll be able to find him. If the guy said, “He’s that way,” then off we’d go, and good luck finding this dog that’s running all over the place in miles and miles of forest. So the few seconds after he said “yes” felt like this really interesting space. And then he said, “He’s at my house.” Wham!

Isn’t that so cool? It felt really awesome. What’s more, his wife was home and they lived maybe two miles away. Really? They’d called the number on the tag, but my friend had left her phone in the car. So he must’ve called his wife and asked her if she’d come and get the dog until the owner had been found. They texted us her name and number, and in no time flat we had the dog. Wow. So it all worked out well, and super smooth, and yes, the universe blew our minds. Thanks, universe. So cool!

So that’s the story of the hike, the dog, and the universe. I hope you enjoyed it. I wrote about Michael Singer’s awesome and fun book The Surrender Experiment almost two years ago, but I was nowhere close to living that way. Not even remotely close! That’s when you know that whatever happens is for your highest good and highest potential, 100% of the time. Period. So when things happen that you don’t like, you realize it’s melting that little ego dude or dudette in there that’s saying, “No! This is wrong! This shouldn’t be happening! I’m right and the universe is wrong!!” Yes, folks, I’ve done that… a lot… All I can say is that for most of us, it takes a while to start to live in YES more and more. Listening to a ton of Matt Kahn recently, like the retreat I wrote about not too long ago, is what has really gotten my attention. And life gets smoother after a while because your “stuff” gets cleared out more and more, and you say “yes” to what’s happening and thus learn your lessons faster. You see the intelligence that’s orchestrating all things, and you see it more often in real time. And the ego melts faster.

And now let’s deepen it, and I’ll be writing more and more about this. But we’ve been doing all this self-love on steroids lately (first here and then more here), and that has a huge effect. Because since we’re loving ourselves more, the universe doesn’t have to give us reminders by constantly letting us down. Think about that for a moment… Yes it can be pretty brutal, but it really does seem like that’s the setup. For now, anyway, in these crazy shifting times. So if the universe is so intelligent that it can turn a tiny acorn into a massive freaking oak tree, then maybe everything that happens really is for my highest good. And maybe it’s all just reminders to love myself more deeply. And maybe when I do that, the universe seems to get nicer. I don’t know for sure, but it really does feel that way to me lately. And it’s certainly worth a shot, because what could go wrong? You might even get your dog back.

I’m also going to send this post to the awesome people that went out of their way to secure this tired, wet, hot, slobbering, furry dog. They might think I’m absolutely crazy! But it could also lead to changing someone’s life. You never know when something in these words, something else on the blog, or something that’s recommended like a book or a teacher affects someone. And it could be a friend of a friend of a friend – that’s the universal intelligence again, and it knows each of us intimately, and it knows who needs what and when, as well as knowing exactly how to deliver it to them. And if they think I’m crazy then that’s fine, too. At least it’ll make for a funny story. So peace out! And happy hiking 🙂

Fascinating: How EMDR Changes The Brain

Posted Posted in EMDR: Mind-Blowing Sessions!

We’ve been doing some major self-love on steroids stuff, but let’s not forget about EMDR! Because they are like the one-two punch. Oh, and deep breathing, too, anytime the thought pops in your head. That’s the real one-two punch, actually – deeper breathing and loving yourself in this new, much more doable manner. And EMDR is a very powerful tool that can be used anytime to clear out the old gunk. And regarding deeper breathing and loving yourself, you don’t even have to worry about “doing it right” or “doing it all the time.” When you have a thought to take a deep breath, just take a deep breath (no analysis or criticism required). Because it feels awesome and spacious! And when you notice a part of you that’s upset in any way, try your best to love it on the spot with a powerful breath into the heart. Not the whole self if you don’t want, just that one part, the part that’s having a tough time in that moment. And remember, earth ain’t easy. Back to the story…

So I went to my first quarterly EMDR continuing education event a couple of weeks ago, and I saw this super long and boring video presentation about the neurobiology of EMDR (i.e. how it affects the brain). The people there were awesome, but the video just went into sooo much brain detail. So let’s really simplify it here. And for any brain experts out there, this is the extreme “for dummies” version. Because I’m a major dummy when it comes to the brain. So don’t judge too much. Here we go…

The brain is all about these different parts that talk to each other. When something big or traumatic happens, though, that memory gets cut off from the rest of the brain. So when that memory get triggered later, either consciously or not, the rest of the brain shuts down and we go into fight or flight. The part of our brain that can remind us that we’re safe, for example, or that it’s NOW and not the past, is simply not online. It’s not available to use logic and reasoning, so we actually feel like we did back then. Ouch.

When that memory gets remembered and lit up while the bilateral stimulation is going on, though, the left-right of EMDR, something about the bilateral stimulation forces the rest of the brain to stay online and to keep talking among the different parts. And after not too long, the memory becomes processed, integrated, or unstuck. Same thing. It’s like when food doesn’t seem to go down the right way, and it eventually gets broken down and digested and you feel good again. Then when that memory gets lit up in the future, we don’t have nearly the same fight or flight response. This is why there can be memories that used to cause panic attacks that you can now talk about like you’re talking about the weather. It might not be your favorite topic of conversation, but it doesn’t have the power and electric charge that it used to. So cool.

Now let’s have a word about how big memories get triggered in the present. Of course there’s the obvious, like when a memory just pops in your head. You could also be reminded by a car you see, a song on the radio, or meeting someone with the same name as someone that was involved. There are lots of ways, but those are conscious. The interesting ones are the ones that are not conscious at all. It could be that I was abused as a child and I just felt that life was totally unfair. And it was! I learned that decades ago. And now when anything happens that has the vibe of “not fair” to it, even something small, I getting super pissed off. What’s probably happening is that the old stuff is getting triggered without my even knowing it. So the old memory of abuse gets lit up, the rest of the brain shuts down, and the adrenalin starts pumping. In that moment, wouldn’t it be nice to know that what’s actually going on is that old stuff is rising up? That the old memories are being triggered by the present? That I’m not a crazy person? Absolutely, it would be veeeery nice to know that.

So how do we heal this? We clear out the old stuff with EMDR, that’s how. Then when the same things happen now, your body simply doesn’t have the same triggered reaction. You can also use EMDR to target the present things that are triggering you, without even knowing about the connection to the old abuse or whatever it was! That’s what is so cool about EMDR. Because most likely it’ll just float right up. So we don’t even have to know about the connections. We just put the headphones on, turn the bilateral stimulation machine on, close our eyes, and drop in. And the brain will release whatever it wants to. Because it already knows the connections.

So there we go, folks, EMDR Neurobiology for Dummies. Or super-dummies. This is why EMDR can be so powerful, you see. Because it’s a brain thing. Talking about stuff just doesn’t have this component of the brain literally changing and becoming healthier. And you know what else? I almost wrote a short blog post. It kept growing, though. But we were closer than normal, so woohoo! I’m going to go buy a lottery ticket now. Then I’m going to check the weather in hell, because it seems like there might be a cold front. Hey, we usually talk about big stuff here, and it can take some words to do it right. We’re figuring it all out, though. Peace out 🙂

Whatever – Or WHOEVER – Arises, Love That

Posted Posted in Essential Topics, My Stories

So I learned about the teacher Matt Kahn sometime in 2015 (YouTube channel here). He published his first book not long after, and I pre-ordered five copies. I wanted to support his work, sensing that it was very important. And I wanted one for myself, as well as some to give away. In fact, I gave the last one away just a week or so ago. I’m slow sometimes… Oh, and I wanted the freebies that came with each increasing order, like some downloads of audio teachings. So I got five.

I’m not sure when the book arrived, but when it did, I started reading. This would’ve been in early 2016. I read the first two or three chapters and put it down, not picking it up again. The problem wasn’t the book, it was me. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know this at the time, though. At the time, I just wasn’t feeling it. Honestly, I wasn’t feeling anything in terms of reading. I felt like I’d read my ass off for over ten years and it was time to live it. Now.

So time passed, and life had plenty of ups and downs. And there were some major downs. I truly learned how to feel really crappy stuff, going through a big heartbreak situation with a beautiful woman. I wrote about that some in late 2016 without really saying what was going on. It was intense, though! But it cleared me out of some serious gunk, that’s for sure. And it deepened my capacity to hold big feelings and energies. Was it fun? Absolutely not! I don’t know why this earth setup is how it is, but I know that it is how it is. And it can be pretty brutal. And arguing about it or bitching about it only makes it worse – I actually have a tremendous amount of experience with that, as a few of my friends can attest. They’ve even found my bitching amusing. I’m hoping that I’m finally getting over that phase, and I’ve been doing pretty well with it lately. Matt Kahn’s work has helped to shift it. But let’s face it, earth can be rough!

So I got to a much better place as the new year rolled in, and it felt good to be feeling good again. By the way, I love Robert Earl Keen and his song, Feelin’ Good Again. So life rolled on and I started to get super busy at work. And the sessions were rocking. Then just over a month ago I downloaded the audio from the Matt Kahn Feel Good Now retreat that I wrote about here, for those that might want to buy it. It’s SO worth the $111, by the way, for all those hours of talks and teachings, if you’re even slightly inclined. Just read the post and feel into it; there’s no wrong answer.

So I listened to it, mostly on a drive back from the NC mountains, and it freaking peeled me open. I’ve been peeled open many times before, and for pretty long periods of time, too. And I’m ready for it to last. I’m ready for a new floor, a higher floor. And it truly feels like this is it. Because it involves the most powerful stuff in existence, love. That’s never been in my arsenal. I’m just not naturally a heart person; I’m a thinker. This really is a new spiritual paradigm that’s emerging, though, and it’s so different than the old one when you take a close look. I’ve learned that the old one wasn’t working for me anymore – it had a low ceiling – because I’ve already done that stuff. As Matt says, I was in the wrong classroom. And the right classroom feels so… right. And it’s the classroom of healing the heart.

I’m writing this to give you some background, and also because it hit me that what I’d gotten from that retreat I was listening to was that I could love whatever part of myself needed it in any moment. As I said in the recent unveiling of A Clean Mind 3.0, it was the track called Showing Innocence Respect. And I truly “got it” that we all have this innocence inside of us that is good and that has been really hurt over the years. And it needs our own love to heal and be melted. And it is worthy of our love. Anytime, anyplace. So after this huge realization, I remembered that book! It was maybe a couple of weeks ago, and I thought, “Wait, this is exactly what that book must be about!” So it was the teaching in the retreat that got me doing and living and practicing what the book is about – Whatever Arises, Love That – all this time later. The perfection of timing…

So today I wanted to share a problem I had in the beginning when I first tried to read it. When a crappy feeling arises, I don’t love it. In fact, I can’t stand it, I hate it. I want it to leave. And the events from last fall have gotten me to a way better place with these energies like anger or sadness or whatever – so that’s good. I don’t hate them as much because I’m not identifying with them as much in the moment. I have a more innocent relationship with it. And I know it’s showing up so that a part of my ego can be melted, leading to much more peace and happiness later. And I think that shift will continue to deepen. But still, it was too much to ask to love whatever arises. And then I realized it was more about whoever arises. I realized that behind the feeling is an old part part of me that’s hurt and that needs love. And I can absolutely love that little guy! I can love him like he’s never been loved before, drenching him and feeding him with that powerful breath, and sometimes with a hand on the heart as well. Because he is innocent and he deserves it. Bam, what a shift! It all clicked.

I haven’t even read the rest of the book yet, but I probably will soon. But I’m pretty sure that what I’m doing now with myself and with clients is the essence of this teaching, which feels like the essence of the new spiritual paradigm that’s emerging. Whatever Arises, Love That. Or Whoever Arises, Love Her or Him. Because s/he deserves it. And I can do that. And it feels amazing.

We’ll be talking more specifically in future writings about what this looks like in the moment, to make sure we’re super clear. It’s pretty amazing, though. For instance, you might be mad at yourself. And you might find it impossible to love yourself in that moment. But can you love the mad one, the one that refuses to love? The one that’s having trouble being loving? Maybe you can love that one. Picture the part of you that says “No! I can’t do that!” S/he has arms folded and a stern look. Doesn’t that one need a freaking hug?? Or can you imagine an innocent little kid inside of you that really, truly wants to be a good person and to have a smooth life? Can you love him or her? Absolutely! And if not, you’ll get the hang of it with practice, and it’ll be second nature before you know it. So there we go, just expounding on this new part of the journey some. Because you can usually find some part in there that you know damn well deserves some love. And when you give it, it starts to spread to the other parts. And it feels really good, really safe. And you start to feel whole as these parts get melted. So all the best to you, happy practicing, and as always, let me know if I can help.

Introducing… A Clean Mind 3.0!

Posted Posted in Essential Topics, My Stories, Spirituality/Religion

It’s here, folks, A Clean Mind 3.0. Woohoo!! This represents the third iteration (I think) of this wild adventure that began in 2011. I think we’re really onto something now, and it’s faster and more powerful than anything I ever could’ve imagined. Like its predecessor, it’s a 24/7 approach, it’s incredibly simple, and it’s very far-reaching, extending to every aspect of your life, every aspect of this interesting human experience that we’re all having. But this new version is waaaay more powerful. And I’m sooooo psyched! This literally represents a new way for a new day, a new time, a new age. This is big, and it’s important. And it’s here. Shall we begin? YES. And sorry for the delay in getting this out, but I’ve never been so busy. I’ve even done some weekend sessions. I know, knock you down with a feather. Honestly I’m bored a lot on weekends, anyway, and it really is rewarding to help people. This level of work is unsustainable for me, but it feels like the phase I need to be in now. Anyway, here we go…

I talked a little bit about this in the preview that I recently wrote. And I told you how it’s all about self-love. But on steroids! Healthy steroids, that is… You see, recently I finally “got it” that when we’re triggered in any way (angry, scared, sad, anxious, stressed, confused, etc.), what’s really showing up is an old, innocent, wounded part of us. And it needs love. And we give it love on the spot with a deep breath into the heart. Putting a hand on the heart can make it more powerful, too. But the point is, an innocent part of ourselves is showing up and saying, “I need your love.” So we give it. Done. And then we deal with the situation at hand. When you get the hang of it, that breath feels like a freaking fire extinguisher of awesomeness and safety and okayness. It just feels amazing. And again, then we deal with the situation at hand, whatever the trigger was. And this is our practice, 24/7.

Let’s talk for a moment about the generalized history of every human to see if we really do have these old hurt parts that need some attention. Let’s see, how does it all begin? So we’re in this awesome warm fluid and all of our needs are taken care of. We don’t even have to worry about eating or going to the bathroom. We have shelter. All is well. And then what happens? Wham! We get pulled out of the womb and slapped on the ass. Time to learn how to breathe, little buddy! “This sucks! It’s cold out here! And what’s up with this breathing stuff?? Oh, and what are those… scissors? Wait, you’re walking towards me with scissors?? But you wouldn’t possibly use them to cut my body, no way. Wait, you’re still getting closer… What’s that look on your face? You’re opening the scissors now… You’re really going to touch me with those things? You’re going to actually cut me?? Noooo!!!” And there goes the umbilical chord. Oh, and we’re still no longer in that awesome warm home, and we’re still trying to figure out how to breathe. And if that’s not enough, many young boys get… circumcised. “NOOOO!!!”

So there we go, folks, there’s your first trauma, your first wound. Then they stack up after that, big and small. It doesn’t have to be something major like abuse, war, or a major car accident. When somebody says something mean to you in third grade, for instance, it’s very traumatic for that little kid. When your parents tell you you can’t have that piece of candy at the grocery store and you freak out, it’s very traumatic for that little kid. You get the idea. These are the wounds of our heart, big and small. And now we’re decades older and we all have our own unique collection of these old hurts, these old wounds. Any version of us that didn’t get the attention that it wanted back then is still in there, waiting for it. Needing it. Literally! So the intelligent, connected universe brings us the exact situations we need that will trigger those old wounds, so that they’ll show up to finally get what they’ve wanted and needed all this time – your love. And as YOU give it, with that breath to the heart, those old wounds melt and are finally healed and integrated. As your heart gets healed in this way, you start to become whole again. And you feel better and better. You feel stronger, more secure, and even smarter. Because you’re loving yourself back into wholeness. This stuff works, y’all. It really does.

Let’s take a quick look at that “intelligence of the universe” that we mentioned above. It’s the same intelligence that knows how to turn a tiny acorn into a massive 300-year-old oak tree, supporting all kinds of other life like resurrection ferns and squirrels and birds. There’s a super amazing song called Resurrection Fern by Iron & Wine, by the way. Back to the story… It’s the same intelligence that keeps the cells in your body from getting into a traffic jam. And do you know how many cells are estimated to be in the human body? Have you ever really thought about this? Thirty-seven trillion. Thirty-seven trillion. Trillion! What??  That’s insane. We could go on and on, looking at the structures of things big and small, from a cell or an atom to a galaxy and a universe. You can see how the Golden Mean shows up everywhere, and that comes from a simple sequence of numbers called Fibonacci Numbers that even a child could understand. And it’s all over nature, this same magical number. Regardless of your views, there’s an intelligence that can’t be denied. And this intelligence knows you. And it knows your heart. And it knows your wounds. And it knows that you’re ready to heal them. Right there on the spot when you’re triggered and an old part of you shows up needing love. This stuff works.

Now let’s take a look at the overall idea of self-love, because I’ve written about that a bunch on this blog, especially in this self-love summary post from February 2016. And I’ve had quite the journey in that department. You see, I realized that I was really tough on myself just about four years ago. I stopped the inner yelling a long, long time ago, but there was just this subtle inner critic that couldn’t really be 100% pleased. You see, I’m a Virgo with two math degrees, so I can be a bit critical. Understatement… And that makes it really tough to have an overall, automatic, total self-love! Because it’s like this huge, over-arching thing of do I love my whole self? All of it? For a critical person, flaws will instantly pop up, things you don’t like about yourself. Things you’re critical of. And if it’s not 100% then it doesn’t feel like total self-love. So “loving myself” in totality was just too much to ask.

But it did start to shift the more I took a deeper look. I started to see that Earth is tough! It’s a really, really difficult place for everyone, to some degree. So I started to respect that and have more compassion for myself and others. Still, though, I wasn’t totally there. And then the teacher Matt Kahn that I’ve mentioned before totally peeled me open. I was listening to the audio tracks from his Feel Good Now retreat, which I recommend that you consider buying here. One of my friends says to watch out, though! It turned her life upside down, but she’s so cleared out now from her most major life issue, something really old. In a matter of a few days. It’s been a major clearing, a major shift. And now she’ll live and integrate this huge shift. But she said there should be a warning label on it. I said, “I tried to tell you it’s powerful…” And she said, “I know, but I just didn’t believe it was that powerful!”

Anyway, there’s a track on there called Showing Innocence Respect. And I truly “got it” that there’s this core innocence inside of each of us that is good and that wants to show up as a really good person. It’s had a tough time in this weird earth place that can be super harsh. And it’s been shut down. But it’s still there, and all it needs is some loving attention. So that’s what shows up when life triggers us, that wounded innocence. And as we love it on the spot, without even a single thought, but with a breath, it gets healed. And we feel stronger and better than we ever could’ve imagined. So cool.

But it gets even cooler, because do you know what happens next? The universe responds. We’ve finally shown up to be the one that loves ourself back to wholeness, and we’re the only one that can do it. But the ability to do this, the strength to do it, is built-in. And the more we’re loving ourselves, the more the universe seems to show up to reflect that. And things shift. The shifts that you were struggling with for so long start to happen naturally and effortlessly. It’s like the emergency brake was on the whole time, and you finally noticed it and released it. And the car goes faster and smoother and feels so much better. Relationships might shift, finances might shift, your job might shift, physical health might shift. Just be committed to this one thing – loving any part of you that shows up in any moment that needs it – and the rest will take care of itself. Because you are finally dealing with the cause, and all the rest are effects. So cool!

So there we go, folks. I know it might sound a bit weird now. Thanks for your patience, because this is new and I’m getting better at communicating it. But rest assured, there will be plenty of future writings that will go into more specific detail about what this looks like in the moment. But the essence is that I get triggered and I instantly breathe a breath of love and assurance into my heart to melt the one inside that’s triggered, the part of me that’s telling me that it needs it. And that little guy in there goes sort of like, “Ahhhh…” in a very relaxed, soothing way. Rather than the freaking out he was doing just a few seconds prior. And then I respond to the situation at hand. Wash, rinse, repeat. And the hand on the heart is pretty damn powerful – feel the warmth, especially as you put your breath there. Happy practicing, and I’ll be back with more later. Because now we’re at A Clean Mind 3.0. And it only gets better and better from here. Enjoy!