Thursday, March 30, 2017

Awakened Love, Awakened Lust, Everyday Enlightenment

What’s Possible: In Love, Lust, and Enlightenment Coaching
Love as the transformation of all the bad relationship habits of your whole life.
Love as daily communication, eye to eye, deep listening, not interrupting, not arguing.
Gratitude and awareness of now as central to your life together.

Sex in one of three forms, every day
Sex as a learning, a connection, a conversation
Sex as a dipping into the mystery of existence and coming back more in tune with God/ the meaning of Life

happiness, in spite of anything, almost all the time
present in our bodies, in all circumstances, almost all the time

forgiveness as a path of joy, love and liberation… never going to bed with anything unforgiven, preferably any complaint forgiven within half an hour

Monday, March 27, 2017

GRATITUDES: Stand and Say Three, Write Three, Jump and Say Three

LOVE Games, #1 , #2 and #3
Saying Gratitude Aloud
Writing Gratitudes on Paper or a Journal
Gratitude with a jumping and happy body

On June 20, 2015, I walked down the street on which I lived, to meet a woman I knew and admired and liked, but with whom I thought I had no “romantic” expectations. We were going to meet for a lunch and “study” session. I was writing a book on radical listening. She was smart and kind and I wanted her input. Her name was Carol Williams then.
It’s Carol Elms now.

I had a gratitude journal, in which I was writing three to five times a day.
Writing gratitude, combined with writing goals, had me focusing on and delight on what was good in my life, what was working, and what I wanted more of, or what I wanted that I didn’t have yet.
I wanted a great woman.
I wanted a great woman that I didn’t have to meet through the Internet.
Who could match me in smarts and love of learning.
And…. (hey, you can write any goal you want) .. I wanted a great woman who was within walking distance.

In the mean time, life was good. I was present a lot. I was outdoors a lot. I was moving with awareness a lot.

I was writing gratitudes a lot.

Gratitude had me focusing on the good.
Goals writing had me focusing on what I wanted, from the real me who felt that gratitude for being alive.

Carol and I met for an hour.
And then keep talking, in turns (a “game” you’ll play soon) for more hours.
And more hours.

The talking was a special kind: the listener did not interrupt.
Both people were attempting to be as present as possible.
The goal was to listen to really “get” the other person.

You’ll do a mini-version of this next chapter: You’ll share gratitudes with another person.
Back and forth, back and forth.

Today, it’s time to start diving into the wonders of gratitude for you, right now, in this moment, the only moment where you can experience your life.

Love Game #1: Stand and say aloud three gratitudes
Stand up.
Say aloud three gratitudes.
That’s it.
Life is too sedentary.
If we want to create a new and better life for ourselves, we need to move.
So do it:

Do it.

If you are planning to “get around to it later, when there’s more time,” give the book back.
Admit you don’t want to change.
If you want a more wonderful life for yourself, stand and say three gratitudes aloud.

That wasn’t so hard.
Did you feel a shift?

Gratitude is a wonderful opener to who we really are.
The part that loves feels gratitude.
That part that feels gratitude loves.

Gratitude tells the Universe you are happy with what you’ve gotten.
It subtly tells the Universe you’d like more of that. 

It has you focused on what is nourishing in your life.
It reminds you of where to go for a better life.

And, here’s the latest research: scientists have found that the brain can be in either fear or gratitude, but not both.
This isn’t the time to go into what a sinkhole fear can be, but it is a nice reminder that there are really two ways to live life: in contraction and worry and fear, or in expansion and delight and gratitude.
Two ways to live life:
Contracting and in fear and complaint and worry
Expanding and in love and learning and joy and effectiveness and ease

And gratitude is to keep open the door of expansion.

So, let’s do it some more…

Love Game #2: Right now, write now, three or more gratitudes.

This means finds paper or parchment or an old shirt. And getting a pen or pencil or crayon or quill.
Preferably pen and paper.
Even better pen and a “gratitude journal,” if you’ve got an old journal somewhere in the house that you’ve been waiting to “get around” to using.

And if no paper is around, don’t let that stop you.
You’ve got a finger.
You know how to write.
Write now, right now, anyway, by using your finger and “air writing” three or more gratitudes in the air, or on your leg, or on this book.
Or, hey, try writing three in the air, and then go get a book and write the same three or a different three on paper. 

Love Game #3: Jumping Gratitudes
Stand up.
Life is movement.
Happiness is often movement connected.
Sex is movement.
And… let’s stand up again.
Preferably near a window with a  view of something you enjoy.
Preferably some part of Nature, sky, cloud, tree, flowers, ocean. Who knows.
Preferable with your shoes off.
Even better, socks off.

And, wherever you are standing and however you are standing, put your hands up in the air.
And jump.
In a circle.
One way, and then the other.
Wiggle your fingers.
Wiggle your arms.
And as you do this say, at least three times. And finish the sentence…
“I am grateful….”
“I am grateful…”
“I am grateful…”

This may seem silly.
Do it.

This may seem like “too much trouble.”
Do it.

You can’t be depressed and jump.
You can’t jump without accessing higher levels of coordination.
You can’t jump without disrupting your normal crap, unless you happen to jump a lot.
If you happen to jump a lot, give me a call. You’re probably way interesting.
If you don’t jump a lot, I hope you start.

(Aside: in 2010 I came to Austin with two suitcases and my Feldenkrais® table. I knew two people, who were very cool people, neither of whom got back to me for six months. I’d never been to Austin.
It was supposed to be a winter’s stay, and then back to Orcas Island for the summer.
I came as a couch surfer, which meant I was guaranteed all of three days with my first hosts.
That led to a second host.
And a third.
And a fourth.
And a stay in the youth hostel.
And a place that was very interesting
And a place down the block from where I meet Carol five years later.
The point?
One reason I thought to give Austin a try was that my son suggested it, and he’s a cool guy.
A reason I decided to follow his hint: Austin was supposed to be the “Berkeley of Texas,” and I’d spend many happy years in Berkeley, though I didn’t go to school there. (Stanford and Caltech)
Another reason: the town slogan: “KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD.”
I figured I’d fit in.
I did.

Why are we going through this?
Jumping and saying gratitudes is weird.
Weird is good.
Jump, friend. Jump and say gratitudes.
Weirdness and freedom and authenticity all have a lot in common.
And happiness can come from all three.
And you deserve to be happy.
Right now.
So, right now, either say three more gratitudes, or write three more gratitudes, or jump and say three more gratitudes.
Or all three.
Life is fun.

You don’t like to jump?
Yes you do.
You might have forgotten, but you LOVE to jump.
This is good.
You are good.

Do these often: write gratitudes. Say the gratitudes into the air, without jumping. Say the gratitudes into the air, with jumping.
Keep a lookout for a gratitude journal.
Have fun.

Be grateful to yourself for beginning, or upgrading, your gratitude practice. Stand up. Jump. Be happy.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Part of Enlightenment: Four stages of Forgiveness and Fun and Freedom

Enlightenment as a Four Stage Delight
Forgiveness as Fun, Freedom and … Discovery

So, here’s the deal.
If we are a slave to the past, we are a slave to the past. We are stuck.
We are living in a myth.
The myth is that the past can be different, or should be different, or even, “we would have been better off,” if the past had been different.
All this is both unknowable.
And most of all, undo-able.

Can’t undo the past.

So, here’s the four stages of forgiveness :

First, write down your gripe with the past. Make it one sentence long, with a “should” or a “shouldn’t” in it. Cut the the chase of what you most consider their fault and sin and awfulness.

Someone should have treated you better.
Someone shouldn’t have been mean, critical, abusive to you in the past.
It can be little: they didn’t return your call.
It can be huge: they were your parent and they swatted you around. (Yeah, Mom.)
It can be persistent and annoying: they were your parent and they couldn’t get out of a critical mode with you. (Yeah, Dad)

As before, have two chairs.

Sit in the Suffering Chair, and look at the words you’ve written. Count the words.
Feel the pain of believing those words.
Realize the power of however many words: Mom shouldn’t have hit me. Five words.
Dad shouldn’t have criticized me so much. Seven words.

In the suffering chair, really “get into it.”
Feel as emotions, what happens. Write them down: feel sad, feel angry, feeling cheated, feeling small.
Write down the laundry list of these six or five or seven words, when you believe them.
And go beyond the emotion.
Feel the sensations in your body. All negative emotions have a constricting and painful effect on your body.
Feel these as in the present sensations.
Realize the power of believing these six or seven words.
Shrink your body even more.
Tense up even more.
Feel as sensing and emotional level what the Suffering Place is all about.

Now, stand, and shake it out a little. Hop or go up on your toes and flop down on your heels, a bunch of times. Shake your hands happily at the wrists.

And move now, to the Present Chair.
Sit here and feel your pelvis against the chair.
Maybe even do a little pelvic rocking.
Look around.
What do you see?
Listen around.
What do you hear?
You are in a body.
What shape are your legs in? Not like getting in shape shape, but if you were to draw them, what shape would it be.
Same with arms: what shape.
What are the legs and feet feeling and touching.
Same with arms and hands: what are they touching and feeling.

Good to feel.
Right now.

See what that does to your mood and your love of life.

And, as before, go back and forth.

So, come to a third chair: let’s call it the Realization Chair.

And from that: look at the present chair and the suffering chair, and realize that the “problem” isn’t about the words you wrote, but is about which chair you want to sit in.

So, in this Realization Chair, look at the words on the paper and say, “So what?”
If you really feel this, then you’ve reached the first level of enlightened forgiveness.
If not, hang out in the two chairs some more and see what happens.

Step Two:
This is a little wild, but stand up and hop a little first.
See if there’s a way of learning about the words, that puts in the category of thankfulness that this happened.

Sound strange, but it’s like this:
Mom was pretty mean and critical and even physically abusive as I was growing up and then the mean and critical kept up.
From the realization chair, I can see that this was her stuckness, and in the present has nothing to do with me.
And from the learning and loving chair (might as well have a fourth chair), I can be thankful that she was the way she was.
Because I can actually love her.
And if I can love a woman who was in many ways not the kindest or nicest person, then the love feels even stronger in my heart.
Put it like this:
Say Mom was awful 60% of the time. If I can love here even with that, how much easier to love my wife, who is awful 5% of the time.
Or myself, who is awful 10% of the time.

It’s practice.

And Stage Three is one great and easy, and relentless, way of sharpening this love for the “bad” person.

It’s the famous “turn around” of the work of Byron Katie.
It’s the “see the beam in your own eye, instead of the tiny splinter in your neighbor’s eye” of the Bible.
It’s the famous, “mirror” idea of the New Age folk.
It’s the folk wisdom truth of the saying that “one finger pointing out means there are three pointing back.” 

Or, it’s good old fashioned psychology: Projection.
Whatever I see wrong with you, is something I don’t want to see as wrong with me.
And almost always is.

If I see you as selfish, I probably am too.
If you see you as negligent, fearful, grumpy, disrespectful, critical, and so on, again, almost always, that’s me.

To really slam this home, try to preach your sermon directly to their sin.
Which means.
You shouldn’t be so angry.
Goes to:  I shouldn’t be so angry about your anger.
You shouldn’t be so grumpy.
I shouldn't be so grumpy about your grumpiness.
You should respect me more.
I should respect more you for your lack of respect for me.

Don’t rush that one.
Wrap your head around it.

With me, it was Dad and his criticalness and Jeri Lynn and her running off with another man, that really brought the power of this home to me.

Dad was fairly relentlessly critical.
I did the two chair thing, and realized that without the words in my head, his criticalness was his thing, and I didn’t have to take it personally.
And then at the “turn around” I was shocked to realize how many years I’d been critical of him, either in my head, or to my friends, about his criticalness.
Alas, I could pass out the sermon, the medicine, but wasn’t practicing what I preached and wasn’t taking my own medicine. This can be both humbling and humor making.

With Jeri Lynn, taking off with another man: it’s a long story, and we were both ready for it, and I had it coming.
When I was present, I could appreciate the lack of arguing and the end of something we’d both grown weary of.
But with the “Jeri Lynn should love me more” story, I could be greatly miserable.
And then one day, I did the reversal. “I should love her more.”
For awhile it was just words. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Of course I should.
Then it lit up and became real.
Oh, my: she’s with a new lover that she really likes.
If I loved her more I’d be happy for her happiness.
And in that state I was truly free.
She was free of me and our fighting.
I could love the freedom and happiness that was bringing her.

This was a huge shift to say the least.

So, that’s the third stage of forgiveness:
So what?
Loving what you are learning.
Humility or revelation or even humor about realizing that you are a sinner, too.

And fourth?
I think I’ll go into this more later.
But for now, it’s kind of like this: What we think happened, either was different than we remember.
Or, the motives and the overlay of what was happening was vastly different.

I saw this one day with my father.
Looking at a memory of him from the Being Present chair, I suddenly got this realization of the immense sorrow that was behind his criticism. How he really was trying to love me, and was too cut off from his own self-love to be able to do this.
He was still critical. Yes. This was something he was very stuck in him.
But he wasn’t malicious, though his words and tone seemed to imply that.
He was sad and desperate for love and going about it in all the wrong ways.

Poor Dad.
Sad and compassion for him, and then….
Time to live a life of love and forgiveness that he couldn’t.

That’s what this is all about.

It’s work.

And without it: we aren’t free.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Lust improvement: Hold hands and move your pelvis and head in a non-habitual pattern, have fun, wake up. Good sex awaits

Day Eighteen:
Lust Improvement by
Less Effort
Smiling and

Get together with your partner.
Hold hands.
Go through the pelvic rocking together and go where sex often goes when people try to “get it right”. That is to say, a lot of effort and flailing around, and acting as if “getting to the finish” is going to be the end all, cure all for all of life’s ails.
So make the pelvic rocking a BIG DEAL. Hold on tightly. Clamp in your breathing. Pull tightly on each other as you rock. Try to be stronger and more forceful, as if it’s some kind of contest.
Wear yourselves out a bit, as if that proves anything.
Then stop.
Stand up.
Shake it out.
Smile and come back to sex/ touch/ movement as co-operation and enjoyment.
And go about this with the “do it better” mindset and variations. The one’s we’ve used before and just great for this movement and for a lot of life.
And of course, a lot of sex, will not only last longer. But have time for little diversions and explorations and delights along the way.
So, hold hands, and do the pelvic rocking together with these three grand variations.


And you are having another variation: holding hands. Enjoy that. Not only enjoy that, but learn from it.
Perhaps try one or two sets without holding hands.
And then hold hands and see what happens.

The goal of this is to start to establish goals other than the usual hurry, and get it done, and do it right goals that ruin so much of sex, to say nothing of so much of life.

If you want to try the fourth variation, something UNUSUAL/ NON-HABITUAL/ INTERESTING/ FUN
Try this:

Move your head in the opposite direction that you have learned so far.
As we’ve learned it, the head is a natural continuation of the way the upper back is curving. In the round and stomach in movement, the head is tilting down, to continue the folding in of the spine. In the arch your back and push your stomach out movement, the upper back is starting to tilt back, and so your head is too.
Now, as our variation to almost “do it wrong,” we’ll go against the so-called “natural” way.
It will be strange and a little difficult.
It won’t be a favorite form of movement in your life.

It will help loosen an area that’s often killing musicians and people who work at computers: your upper back where it meets your neck.
And it will help your head and pelvis get much more familiar with the “easy” way of relating, by mixing it up and making it “hard.”
And, this will help you realize that their are slight shifts out there all over the place, that will make a huge difference in your life.
Are fun.
Maybe not at first. But stick with it, variations that violate the rules of habit always end up fun.

Try it.
You’ll see:

As you
Round your Back
Pull in your Belly
Breathe Out and
Rock your weight Back on your Pelvis
And begin to lower your sternum and the top of your check
Feel the “normal” movement for your head, and do the opposite:

(This is more of less the awful way many of us interact with a a computer, hunched over in our back, and neck stretched in an unnatural and painful way, with your head tilted the other way)

And, go the other way:

As you
Push your pelvis forward 
Breathe in to your
Expanding Belly 
Arch your back
Begin to lift your sternum and the top of your spine towards the rear and up, feel the “easy” way for your head to go, and go the opposite way:

Believe me, this is weird.
Weird is good.
Weird is one reason I moved to Austin, and found, after many many adventures, Carol.
Why weird brining me to Austin.
I heard it was the “Berkeley of Texas.” That was appealing as I’d spent many happy and creative and learning years working and learning and participating in the Gurdjieff work and raising my children in Berkeley.
Austin had exactly two people I knew, and they were very cool. (And too busy to see me for the first six months)
And one real reason was the slogan: KEEP AUSTIN WERID.
Any city that had that as it’s unofficial slogan had to be pretty interesting.
Which was an understatement.

And back to you and this movement.
It’s going to be “weird,” which means out of the normal, and like a lot of “weird,” that deviation from the normal is going to teach you a lot.

The slower you go, the better.
The less effort you make to “get it” right away, the better.
Laugh, fail and figure it out.

This has immense benefits to the upper back that is often immensely wrecked by all our work at computers.
This also gets the pelvis more excited to be a live and vital part of your life.
your brain gets all sort of new and wonderful re-wiring.

And then,
Breathe, relax, see how you feel.

Then end with the regular way of doing the hand holding pelvic rocking and see/ feel/ notice/ enjoy how easy and more fully and delightful that is for the two of you.