Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Monday, July 04, 2016
This is a book for you.
And who are you if you want this book?
You want more love in your life. Again: You want more and deeper love in your life.
This can take many forms.
You have a pretty good relationship and you want a spectacular one. This can take the form of having better communication, or better sex, or more fun, or resolution of “issues” that are never broached, or “just” plain old enlightenment.
Just plain old enlightenment means that instead of going through the motions, no matter how polite and well choreographed, you are awake and present to each other most of the time.
Including the hardest of times: when you are talking.
Or the even harder of hard times: when you are in disagreement and one or both want to slip slide slump into reactivity and conditioned responses that have been automatic for a couple of million years.
You have a dull relationship, and you are tired of the boredom and the stagnation and the lack of connection.
This is common.
Gad this is common and all our electronic devices make it so much easier to ignore. You “just have” to check your email, or your phone, which is glued to your eyeballs, as your breathing almost stops and your posture hunkers over your little device.
And when you are finally ready and willing to talk to your partner, there they are, “too busy,” as they are hunkered over, hardly breathing, some oh so important text or Facebook hooey, and it’s so convenient to forget about you.
And even before devices, people read newspapers, watched sports, watched TV.
Avoiding life and love and connection (and various “hard” areas to work through, and various vulnerabilities left unsaid) because we have our attention absorbed with anything but present based touch and talk and love and lust with our partner.
It seems a little better than loneliness, except this is often extremely lonely.
You don’t have a relationship: you’re single and tired of it.
You see the couples out there. You know a lot of them aren’t that happy, but at least they have someone to hold hands with. And sleep with.
You want this for yourself.
You are normal, of course you are. You have a deep wish for a wonderful partner, with whom you can have a joyful and awakened and loving and growing relationship, a relationship as a spiritual pathway to become all that you can be.
And you don’t have one.
How do you find someone?
What skills can you practice with friends and acquaintances to prepare you for having real and deep connection with a good person, if you meet them, great connection that can help you each decide easily of this is “the real deal?”
What is a waste of time in the dating world, and what might be ways to practice real connection, whether or not they are “the right one?”
(And: Is dating even necessary?
I don’t think so.)
What is necessary is being awake and present, whether you are with someone or alone, or with nature or a pet or a book. You can be out to lunch, not present and sort of wasting time until sleep comes at night, or death comes at the end. But what could you be doing in the interim (your life) to have rich and amazing times as one moment becomes the next becomes the next, as the present flows and floods through us as our life keeps going and going and going.
Till it doesn’t.
You don’t have a relationship: you are divorced and not quite healed from it. Or far from healed from it.
Loving your enemies is crucial for a good life.
Forgiveness is essential to a happy life.
Letting the nonsense go and learning from our mistakes is how we expand and become more and more amazing.
Divorce, like a serious illness, can be a wake up call. Literally: wake up to the present. And metaphorically: start changing things around so you don’t make the same mistakes the next time around.
This book will have tons of ways to let go of anger and hurt, tons of ways to be kind to yourself as you wait and search for another, tons of suggestions about how to find someone that is the real deal for you this time, lots of ways to become much more the person you wish you’d been the first time around.
And one more.
Time to move.
We aren’t done with the list of who you might be if this book could be radically useful to you.
But we are at the limit of reading without moving.
Life is movement and life is learning and life is awareness.
Thru-out the book will be interspersed “lessons” for your brain and awareness and coordination and body joy, based on my ten years of training as a Feldenkrais Method® practitioner and as an Anat Baniel Method practitioner. These are two amazing systems for the relief of body pain, and the increase in skills such as sports and music and the “anti-aging” of bodies that want to get creaky and would much rather get “younger” and more coordinated as so called “aging” is happening on the calendar.
These two systems come from the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, 1904-1984, a judo master, and PhD physicist and discoverer of healing movements and touch guided learning. Some have called him “the leading genius of movement in the 20th century.” He created a pathway to relearning how to learn.
And learning is one of the ways we stay young and attractive to ourselves and to others.
So now: Movement and awareness time:
Feel your feet on the floor.
Slowly come up to your toes, and then rock back and come on your heels and lift your toes.
If you need to hold on to something to do this, do so.
Do this many times.
Feel the pleasure in it.
Put attention into learning and sensing the difference between toes up and heels up.
Notice the difference between putting your attention on the “up” part, be it toes or heels, and putting your attention on the “down” part, be it toes or heels.
Notice how you might want to synchronize your breathing with this movement.
Do this a number of learning and pleasure filled times.
Then rest, by walking around a bit, or doing the rotations from the last chapter.
Second iteration: Synchronize your breathing again, the easy way, as you go toes up and heal up.
Get clear how it is.
Then stop just a bit and switch the breathing around, so if the breathing in was with the toes up, it is now with the heels up. And if the breathing in was with the heels up, it is now in with the toes up.
Do it both ways deeply, slowly, easily.
Noticing the subtle differences in your spine and ribs and even neck from one way to another.
And then rest again.
Third iteration: Move your head and eyes up and down to the toes and heel thing.
Find the easy way.
Do it lots of times with more and more pleasure, ease and awareness.
Breathe whichever way you wish, but breathe easily.
Four iteration: Move your head and eyes up and down opposite to the way you discovered above.
This can be complicated.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t come right away.
Anytime you get confused, stop and simply take the heels and toes up and leave the head out of it. Then rest and start again.
Finally: do this movement of up on your heels and up on your toes, slowly and in delight, and in the combination of breathing and head movements that feel easiest and most natural.
Smile as you do this, and breathe happily and deeply.
Now walk a bit and come back to the “who is this book for” stuff.
One: This book is for people whose relationship is “okay” or “good” or even great, and don’t mind, even better.
Two: This book is for people in a not so great/ sucky relationship.
Three: This book is for single’s who are tired of that, and wanting someone real and fabulous in their life.
Four: This book is for you if you are single because a divorce or breakup has burned through your life and left you both devastated and ready to look at the one person you have a chance of creating change in: Yourself.
Five: You are widowed and have grieved for at least two years.
You may be ready to find someone new. You might not.
Two, super important ways to look at this:
One: THERE IS NO HURRY.
Two: THERE IS SOMEONE OUT THERE FOR YOU, IF YOU ARE READY AND WILLING.
And how will this book help the divorced and the widowed.
You’ll be more present, which means, in love with the only life we have, which is moment by moment by moment.
You’ll be more in love with life, by being more in love with Nature as a place to go outdoors, and Nature as a place to go when you come out of your head and into movement and awareness in the now in this body.
And you’ll learn communication in the present which makes a huge difference with friends, new acquaintances, children, siblings, almost anyone with whom deep and honest connection is a healing event.
And let’s once more communicate with our movement and our bodies in the present. Movement again:
Either do the rotation with the hands on the opposite ribs.
Or do the toes up/ heels up game.
One is moving your spine around itself in circles.
The other is beginning the up down movement in the pelvis that makes so much difference to awareness, posture, breathing and good old fashioned sexiness.
Back down to sitting if you wish, or read the book in standing now. Why not try something new?
This book, hopefully, will be annoying to those who want to stay up in their heads and glued to their reading.
This is a book for a person, YOU, who wants the whole life. The life of the toes, the life of the sex, the life of the heart, the life of the smile, the life of the arms and the spine, the life of love, the life of gratitude, the life of lust, the life of desires and goals.
The whole life.
Which we always only experience in one place.
This is a book for those who want awakened love.
That’s good, let’s say it again, in bold:
This is a book for those who want awakened love.
With the world around them, in Nature.
With the world around them, in friends and family.
With a lover/ partner/ friend.
If that’s you, welcome.
Smile. Breathe deeply. Do again, one of the movements and then go write down another four things you are grateful for.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Love, Lust and Enlightenment
What do you love, right now, about being alive?
Ask your heart. Ask your head. Ask your body. Ask yourself: what do I love, right now, about being alive.
Think of one of them, and let a smile come to your face.
Then find a pen or a pencil and some paper, and write down four things that you love about this crazy mess called life.
Really. Write them down. If you can’t find a pen, do air writing, as if the air is a piece of paper. Write four. Things you love. About being alive.
How does that feel to write down four things you love?
Was it people, places, food, experience, your sensations right now, a pleasant memory, your job, the earth, nature, movements you love, sports you love, animals, children, friends?
Now write another set of four, with a slightly different twist, though it could end up being the exact same things.
Write four sentences that start with: “I am grateful for….” and then finish the sentence.
Try this: write slowly, allowing yourself to feel your hand and maybe even your breathing as you write.
Feel the you inside your life that is grateful right now, for these four people, places, aspects, glories, amusements, amazements.
Whatever it is for you.
Go slowly as you write.
Feel the you who is feeling this and writing this.
Can you feel grateful that you are you, alive, right now, writing gratitudes as you move along to a deeper and more amazing life?
And now stand.
Feel your feet on the floor or the ground, and rotate your shoulders and head gently to the right, and gently to the left. Hug yourself, with your right hand in your left armpit and your left hand in your right armpit.
Swivel left and right, slowly and softly, feeling your spine twist gently. Don’t go to any limit.
Do notice what you see, and how that moves as your head and ribs move.
Do notice how you are breathing. Do notice any weight shifting as you rotate to the right and rotate to the left.
Do this a number of times, slowly, until somehow this feels like a very simple form of pleasure and awareness for you.
Really. Do it.
And now, stand and enjoy yourself standing. And do this little game. Put your weight a little bit on your toes and lift and lower your heels from the floor, letting them lightly, lightly plop plop plop on the ground.
Now, put your hands again on the opposite ribs near the opposite arm pit, and rotate side to side with these two additions. Lift on heel off the ground as you go one way. And lift the other heel off the ground as you go the other way.
And sometimes close one eye. And sometimes close the other. And sometimes have both open.
Again, do this slowly for pleasure and awareness and see how much you can notice about your spine or what your are seeing or your breathing or anything else that is interesting to you in the present.
And again, rest by standing still and looking and sometimes plop plop plopping and sometimes not.
And return to your seat, unless you want to read standing now. And think of four things you desire in your life to be a little better. Or a lot better. Or things you want that you have none of right now. You want a lover and have none. Or you have a lover, and want a better friendship. You want a job. You want your job to be more fun, and make more money.
This is the core of lust: we are human and we want things.
This is what the universe is about: expanding.
Good can get better and if we can get that without discontent about what we already have, miracles can begin to shift in our favor. That is why we started with love and gratitude.
Love, lust, enlightenment.
What do we love.
What do we want.
What is the present like when we come there in our bodies. Right now.
Write four things you want, four desires, or even better, formulate them as goals.
But don’t forget to make the means to the goal part of the goal.
I want to earn $100,000 is one goal.
I want to earn at least $100,000 with ease and delight and make new and amazing friends and discover things about myself and life that I love and never knew, is a whole different goal.
I want a relationship. Is one goal.
I want to find a person who loves and adores me and whom I love and adore and with whom I can have great talks and great sex and great friendship and learn a lot and with whom I can expand my idea of what human beings are like and capable of, is another goal.
Don’t worry about how big or little the goal is.
To have a good night’s sleep is a great goal.
To be happier, more often is a wonderful goal.
Essential actually to real human life. If we aren’t happy, then why are we living.
So maybe that will be one of your goals.
Write four and add the twist we added before: enjoy the you that is moving your hand as you write, right now. Writing right now, get it? And as you write, right now, feeling the you inside that you that is writing.
This feeling the you that is alive right now is a big part of enlightenment. And your goals are going to be about having more of what you love in life, or having more love, so this is important, these goals, for the whole Love, Lust and Enlightenment shebang.
Life is good.
Write them down.
Now stand again, and put your hands on the opposite side of your neck and shoulders. Just hang them there.
And rotate left and right again. With the heel lifting in each direction. With one eye and then the other and then both open.
With the plop plop plop between turns.
And do a couple of turns, making sure you have pleasure and enjoyment in each.
End with a plop plop plop and then go walk a little. In your house. Outside. Walk slowly. Noticing and enjoying each foot as it touches the ground. Sometimes closing one eye. Sometimes closing the other. Always noticing how lifting your heel is part of walking.
Always noticing that you are alive and that you are breathing. Have a smile on your face as you notice your feet and your breathing and what you are seeing.
That’s a good start to a life of more Love, Lust and Enlightenment.
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Anyone out there think of forgiveness as “fun?” Probably not. It usually has this onerous feeling, something “good for you,” kind of like pulling spiritual teeth, something the Bible touts, and “good” people (who are often hard to stand being around) tout it, but it just seems like a drag.
And by the end of this section, you’ll have a bunch of ways that forgiveness might be considered fun for you, and even more ways that you’ll feel, in your guts and your heart and your body, that something very much like forgiveness brings great and almost immediate freedom.
And now, we’ll shift our approach.
This book is about love and sex and orgasm and happiness. This is yum stuff. And… all those require getting out of our ruts.
New pathway: How many of you out there wouldn’t mind being more happy?
So, that’s where we’ll head in this section, and come back to the forgiveness thing at the end.
And we’ll have fun and be smart by coming at happiness the wisest and most foolproof way: stopping being unhappy.
We are in a task that is at the center of what life is all about: how to end emotional suffering. And by the time this section is done, you’ll be able to “un-do” your emotional suffering … one thought at a time. Really “un-do” it. No positive thinking. No sweeping it under the rug.
Best of all, no being “good.”
You are going to be able to sweep away, one thought at a time, any and all of your unhappiness.
Is there anything in your past that is nagging away at you, helping you to be unhappy? The longer ago, the better for what I’m about to show you, because this is one of the strange adventures of human beings: we like to mull or gnaw over something long past and make ourselves unhappy.
It’s totally impossible to have that past be any different.
And we mull and gnaw and obsess and make ourselves unhappy wishing something should be different.
So here’s the game.
Think of someone who, as they say: “Done you wrong.”
It could have been a year ago. It could have been ten years ago. It could have been way, way back when you were a child at the mercy of one parent or both, be they of the deranged sort, or mean, or crazy, or whatever word you pick sort.
Here’s the way to make sure you know you are suffering; You can think of a specific instance.
It feels bad when you think of that.
And you have a “should” or a “shouldn’t” sentence about their behavior.
Like this: “My Dad shouldn’t have been so critical.” That’s seven words, and I suffered greatly for many years via those words.
Part of this game is to write it down. A short sentence that has a “should” or a “shouldn’t in it.”
This isn’t going to feel so great at first, and the goal is the elimination of suffering one thought at a time. And this one short sentence with the should or the shouldn’t is the thought we will un-do in this section.
Not positive think our way out of.
So write it down. Whether you like to or not, writing it down takes it out of the mind where we can obsess and go over and over.
Really do it.
Get a pencil and paper, or pen and paper, or pen and notebook, and write down a “so and so should/shouldn’t have….”
My sentence was, back in 1998, “LYNN ANN SHOULD LOVE ME MORE.” We’d been together for seven years. She had been my friend and lover for seven years, and we’d managed to find each other in Berkeley and drink coffee and discuss design. We found a mutual love of gardening. We got out of Berkeley to an idyllic cottage in the small beautiful town of Sonoma, in so-called wine country. We created a heavenly garden.
And we fought.
Fought like hell.
I’d go to the local bookstore for advice on couples and found one book that said if the one F, for “fighting” was happening more often than the other F, for “….ing,” then you were in bad shape.
We were in bad shape. Screaming. Throwing stuff. Arguing about our arguing.
Killing the beauty of the amazing gardens we’d created.
I’d even been writing in my journal wondering about whether I could “take” it for six months or a year more. I’d committed to that, I was going to tough it out. (Recall the “being good” disease).
And then she found Hank. They talked design and drank coffee. Hank and she didn’t fight, and fascinated each other.
If you ever want to get rid of someone, being jealous is a great way, and for some strange reason that more I nagged at her about what an idiot Hank was and how heartless she was to be liking him more and more, and why she should be spending more time with me (so we could fight more and I could nag her more), the less and less appealing she found me.
And the less appealing she found me, the more I nagged and the more she withdrew, until whoosh.
She was gone.
Off with Hank. She took her cat and her car and her gardening tools and her body and her affection a mile or two away.
Knife to my heart.
This should have been a relief. No more fighting. Beautiful cottage with beautiful gardens and no more fighting.
And when I was present, and alone without fighting, I was even a little happy.
But then the thoughts would come in. She shouldn’t have been such a traitor. She shouldn’t have left me.
And this one, the statement that changed my life when I undid it.
LYNN ANN SHOULD LOVE ME MORE.
So now, you’ve got your poison, and I had mine.
When we broke up I didn’t know the process I’m going to lead you through, and then a few months later I found it, and it changed my life and set me free to be present as often as I was willing to do “the work.”
THIS IS LIFE CHANGING WORK.
IT CAN SET YOU FREE.
IT’S “WORK,” BUT IF YOU DO IT, IT WORKS.
And this “work,” is the work of Byron Katie, which is the stage name of a woman we all call Katie, and who had a rather wonderful and earthy path to become this discoverer of a route to end suffering that could have been applied Buddhism, or a method to get six months of therapy done in a couple of hours.
Her earthy path was not one of spiritual seeker. She’d done tons of therapy and it hadn’t worked.
She was an alcoholic and a rage-aholic, and obese and chain smoking and agoraphobic and depressed.
But a mess with a deep, deep wish. That she die. Not that her body die, she had enough “something” not to want to hurt herself, but over and over, her mantra was “I want to die.”
Meaning her suffering.
She’s in Barstow, California, a desert town, not (before her) considered a center of spiritual breakthrough.
She’s in a halfway house. On the floor since she doesn’t think she deserves to be on a bed.
And a cockroach crosses her ankle.
This is 1983. She’s 43 years old. For 43 years her religion, she’d said, was “you pick up your socks, or I’m going to be unhappy.”
The cockroach walks. Someone else’s dirty socks don’t matter any more.
Nothing matters but the wonder of life.
She gets her wish. She “dies” to all the beliefs she’s had about EVERYTHING. Her name, how she should be, how others should be, her identity, what life was about.
She has an “enlightenment” experience, whatever that is, which she simply calls, “a moment of clarity.”
She dies to her suffering, to believing or even having all these thoughts we torture ourselves with.
And what’s left when all that dies? Laughter. Joy, freedom, release and holy laughter.
She’s so free from beliefs that there is no more suffering.
She’s so free from beliefs that people have to tell her that her name is Katie. When she finally decides it will help other people if she uses a name instead of pointing at her body, she decides to tag on Byron, the name of a grandmother. So that’s her tag, Byron Katie.
And she discovers something amazing.
In the midst of all this bliss and clarity, the slightest complaining/ should/ shouldn’t thought sucks her back to the old suffering.
In her clarity she sees that the thoughts aren’t true. That the believing them causes the suffering.
She comes up with the method we’re all going to do now, to “un-do” the suffering even she can have, even though she’s “awake.”
Here’s her method:
JUDGE YOUR NEIGHBOR.
WRITE IT DOWN.
ASK FOUR QUESTIONS
TURN IT AROUND
The judging is to sidestep all that teaching about “judge not so you won’t be judged.
No one could do that for two thousand years.
So, first step is to admit. We are kind of rats, and love to judge others.
And that’s okay. You’ll see it’s the quickest medicine to how to heal what most needs to be healed in us.
So, step one: JUDGE YOUR NEIGHBOR, YOUR EX-MATE, YOUR CURRENT MATE, YOUR MOM, YOUR POP, YOUR KIDS, YOUR SIBLINGS.
One judgment at a time.
One “should” or “shouldn’t” at a time.
Short and bitter:
“Dad shouldn’t have been so critical of me.” “Mom shouldn’t have hit me.” “My sister should be happier.” “So and so should appreciate me more.”
But just one.
WRITE IT DOWN. You know how suffering goes. You get a nagging thought in your noggin and you obsess and go over and over (and over and over) the same damn thought.
As if it will change the world if you just think and obsesses about it often enough.
Later in the book, we’ll discover a whole bunch of ways to move our bodies more slowly and with more awareness to create learning again as if we were a child again, and to create grace and ease and freedom from pain and an increase in coordination.
This can change anything.
So slow down, with your sentence ( you’ll see, you’ve sentenced yourself) of suffering.
Slow it down, by writing it down.
Short. Less than ten words so you can start to see the bitter truth. “My father shouldn’t have been so critical,” is seven words. With those words, I’d sentenced myself tor 20 or 30 years of misery before I discovered this method.
And for this section, my words are:
LYNN ANN SHOULD LOVE ME MORE.
We’ll go through this process together and see what happens. This is inquiry. It’s asking questions and discovering inside what the real answer is.
It’s called the work.
Judge your …..
Write it down.
Ask four questions.
Turn it around.
So, you look at your statement as I looked at mine and let’s all ask the first question:
“Is it true?”
We want to think our statement is “true,” but this is the first power of this work.
“Is it true” or is it just my opinion.
If I hold up a piece of paper in the air, and let go, will it drop
If I think it won’t drop, will that change anything?
So truth isn’t dependent on my opinion.
Is it true?
We can ask that so many times a day.
“That guy cut me off because he is a mean bastard?” Is it true? What if he’s fighting with his wife, and this is his relief. What if he has to get to the bathroom. And even if he’s generally a jerk, “is it true?” that we should never have jerks in our world?
If I believe Donald Trump should disappear, is that a truth or my opinion.
I’d like to be true, but it’s my opinion, right?
Whatever I think, he’s sticking around.
So what “Is it true?” is really asking is: Is this true like gravity, or is this an opinion, no matter how firmly you believe your opinion.
So, “Is it true?” that Lynn Ann should have loved me more, or was that my opinion.
Dang. It was an opinion. So the answer is no.
Write down question #1 after your statement. #1: Is it true? And then write yes, no, or I don’t know.
And now comes #2.
“ #2: Can I absolutely know this is true?,” which is an even more annoying question because the only way I can absolutely know something is true, is either with something like gravity, or by being God and knowing absolutely what another human being should and shouldn’t do.
I’m not God.
Damn. I can’t absolutely know that Lynn Ann should love me more.
“Can I absolutely know this is true that Lynn Ann should love me more?” Do I, like God, know what’s best for the universe and for my future, and I absolutely know that Lynn Ann should love me more.
No. No. No. I can’t
So that’s the first half of the four questions.
Throughout this book, you’ll be given “games” that lead to learning and transformation.
And what is “learning.”
Learning is noticing a difference that makes a difference. ( This will be key to everything we “learn” in this book and comes from my ten years training in the Feldenrkais Method® and the Anat Baniel Method, pathways to increased coordination and elimination of neck, back and shouder pain, and anti-aging via brain plasticity)
We’ve done the first two questions. (Judge your … Write it down…. Ask four questions… Turn it around).
The first two questions are all about this difference: what is the difference between a truth and an opinion/ a belief/ a thought/ a judgment.
They help us “wake up” to the tragic path of most humans, including ourselves, when we way too often confuse our thoughts with truth.
Believing our thoughts can be the severest form of human suffering.
Don’t believe me.
Do this “work” over and over on every “should” and “shouldn’t” in your life and see what happens.
And how did I learn this.
In 1996 I moved to the beautiful town of Sonoma, with the fight buddy, and F…ing friend Lynn Ann. After Lynn Ann had the temerity to live her own life and seek her own happiness, a friend of mine, Robert, with whom I drove down to my old digs of Berkeley to take an improve class, told me to check out Byron Katie.
At that time, Byron Katie was still living in Barstow, and still with the husband Paul, who was exasperated as all get out as his formerly alcoholic but easily pigeonholed wife become a world wide healer of great renown.
She came to Marin often for donation based weekends that hundreds attended.
I could see quickly that sometime she’d hit the Oprah level, and be much less accessible, so when the chance to take a two week “school” with her, half time in a hotel in LA and half time in Barstow, I jumped at it.
Later, her schools became nine days and I staffed one that was held in Joshua tree.
She ate lunch with us all, talked with us all, was a human that weirdly and delightful loved everyone and was always happy.
She also had end of the year New Years “juice fasts,” several of which I participated in.
I probably spent around sixty days with her, which is a lot less than some, but the work is the work is the work, and doesn’t need her, though she’s an amazing human.
What does the work need?
WRITE IT DOWN
ASK FOUR QUESTIONS
TURN IT AROUND.
The distinction in the first two questions is truth vs opinion.
The distinction in question three and four is: attachment vs non-attachment, thought Katie didn’t know this is what she’s come up with.
Here’s question #3: How do you react when you hold onto and believe that thought/ statement/ belief/ opinion?
I have people go to a new chair to first feel and then write what happens when they hold on to the story.
So do it. Sit in another chair, and read your judgment and feel how you feel and then write it down.
When I believed that “Lynn Ann should love me more” I felt bitter and betrayed and weak and failure and hopeless. And angry. And sad.
This is the laundry list.
Lynn Ann wasn’t giving me this misery.
My holding on to my belief was giving me this yucky result.
And now, switch to another chair, and ask #4: Who or what are you without that thought?
So I was back in Sonoma. I hadn’t invented the changing chair thing, but it was radically clear, that without the thought, I could just be present and alive and free and breathing.
I was something like happy.
I was a lot like free.
And my addition with the two chairs is this:
Go back and forth between #3 where you believe the story and feel that
And then go to #4 where you don’t believe it, or don’t have those thoughts.
Back and forth.
One chair is you on the drug of your beliefs.
The other chair is you in the present, with no thoughts about that.
You don’t have to give up your suffering.
You don’t have to let go.
But the more you go back and forth, the more you’ll feel, in your gut and your heart, just what you are going to get when you go to the attachment place.
So here we begin to understand forgiveness as selfishness. Holding those angry and judging thoughts hurts.
Not having them begins to set you free for the rest of your life. We’ll explore how movement and awakened talk and great touch and great sex and writing goals toward what you really want and writing gratitudes toward what is going well in your life, can all give you tremendous ways of making the wonderful life and relationship you want. But first you have to be free.
This “work” is one way to be free.
#1: Is it true?
#2: Is it absolutely true?
#3: How do I react when I believe that thought/ story/ opinion?
#4: Who or what am I, without that thought/ story/ opinion?
TURN IT AROUND
This they talk about in the Bible: seeing the Mote in your own eye instead of the Speck in the other’s, which always seemed a bit weird, but there is a common praise out there in the world:
One finger pointing out ( in judgment) and three are pointing back.
You are selfish, oh, I am selfish.
You don’t appreciate enough, oh, I don’t appreciate enough.
There are two turn arounds:
The simple turning around of the pronouns. “You don’t listen to me enough” becomes “I don’t listen to you enough.”
“You don’t appreciate me enough” becomes “I don’t appreciate you enough”
And so with Lynn Ann, this was my breakthrough. Loosened up by the four questions and realizing that I was causing my own misery, I had a lightning bolt realization at the turn around:
She should love me more.
I should love her more.
First it was, yeah, yeah. And then it was Oh, My God. I do love her. And loving her more means being happy that she is happy with Hank.
Being happy that she is free from our fighting.
Being happy that she is living the life she wants.
Loving her more was about, her, and truly set me free.
No more unhappiness when I could be truly and completely loving of her happiness.
The second turn around is very medicinal for us all:
“You should appreciate me more,” becomes, “I should appreciate me more.”
“You shouldn’t criticize me,” becomes “I shouldn’t criticize me.”
No waiting around for others to do what we haven’t learned yet.
So, Lynn Ann should love me more became, I should love me more.
Which I could do when I wasn’t wasting my energy believing the thought, and when I was set free to love her and stop demanding that reality be different than it was.
So that is my story.
That’s what I did with one of my judgments.
How did you do with yours?
Remember : you don’t have to come up with any answers, but you are welcome to learn as much as you are ready to learn.
Did into the learning.
Notice the differences:
What is the difference between your story and truth?
What is the difference between believing your story and not believing it?
What is the difference between obsessing on how the other person “should” change and realizing: oh, damn, this is a change that I haven’t really figured out yet for myself.
It’s humbling and it’s fun and it’s certainly freeing to start to see how every flaw we can get so worked up about in others is usually glaringly present in ourselves.
And so we come to the end to the forgiveness section.
The goal isn’t forgiveness: it’s to stop suffering.
But judging our…
Writing it down.
Asking four questions.
Turning it around.
And when your suffering is ended you’ve done the same thing as forgiving, you’ve let go your demand that the past have been different, that “they” whatever they they were have been different.
You’ve let it go because chair #4 feels so much better than chair #3, and because the turn around has made you laugh about the work you still have left for yourself.
The old saying is: not being willing to forgive is like swallowing rat poison and hoping that the other person will die.
Chair three: feel what it feels like to swallow the rat poison.
Chair four: who or what are you without that poison in you.
Are you happier?
I hope so.
Much, much happier.
It’s worked for hundreds of thousands of people. You can find it at http://thework.com.
It will work for you, especially if you take it as a journey of learning and discovery.
The motivation is a root one: to end suffering.
And the way to end suffering is not to push suffering away, but to get crystal clear about the causes of our suffering.
I could list them from what people learn doing the work.
You’ll love discovering how to set yourself free.
This is part of all our work with couples, the ending of all resentments.
You can do it on your own.
You can do it with help.
It’s a technology to end suffering that is simple. And it works.
If you do the work.
All you have to lose is some time and your suffering.
Is it worth it?