si dawson

experiments in self-improvement

Month: April, 2011

Dissociating From Subconscious Impulses

One of the trickiest thing with healing (read: improving our lives) is that so much of what affects us happens below our level of consciousness.

We are, indeed, icebergs.

So, while intellectually we know things to be true: we want to be happy, loving, at peace; in reality our lives are often far different.

The difficulty comes in finding & removing those inner impulses. The resistance & fears we hold so deeply hidden.

A lot of the time, particularly with things we deem traumatic, our ego/mind will deliberately hide things from us. I’ve experienced this over and over. I heal on something (at the conscious level), and only after it’s healed am I able to see what’s truly been going on underneath.

Other times, I heal something (and definitely feel it leave) and yet I never ever get to see what it was. Simply that it was there before, and now it’s gone.

So how do we address something we can’t see, can’t identify and often can’t even detect?

As always, simply looking at our lives shows us what we most want in the world. Not consciously, a lot of the time, but at our deepest levels.

Why Our Subconscious is a tricky bugger

Why would we ever want pain, ugliness and hurt? Because of these deeper impulses. It’s often our ego trying to protect us from some greater fear or hurt. Regardless, this desire for safety (approval or control) or this fear, is more powerful than our conscious beliefs hence the (perhaps undesirable) reality we’re experiencing.

About here is where we normally get into difficulties, for three main reasons:

  1. At a conscious level, it’s very difficult to accept that (for example) “I want this pain”
  2. What’s going on is below our level of awareness (we can’t even see it)
  3. We’ve had this ‘thing’ for so long we’ve started to identify with it (it’s become part of us)

In general, getting into trying to figure something out is an exercise in futility and frustration.

So if we say, for example, “I want this pain” we’ll get immediate internal reactions “No I don’t!”, “Why would I want this?” and possibly even “This is who I am!”

A super simple way to neatly side step all of these issues is to instead say “some part of me wants this pain” or “some part of me believes..” Just tailor the statements to describe your situation, as usual.

In other words, to whatever phrase you’d use if you were tapping (the ‘movie title’ describing your problem), just add “some part of me” to the front of it.

I find tapping the karate chop point (side of hand) really helps bring things to the surface (so they’re easier to drop). It’s like tuning a radio into the issue. Often even that isn’t needed though. Just acknowledging that deeper part of yourself is enough to bring it up so you can let it go.

By saying that it is part of us, but not all of us, our ego doesn’t get all tied up trying to defend us with denials, or hide the feelings. It also sidesteps issues that have been part of our lives for so long they feel like they’re an inescapable part of who we are.

All this is the consciousness equivalent of saying “I have a sore finger” (ie “a part of me is sore”). It’s trivial to accept that as truth, versus, say, the more blanket statement “I am sore.”

To clear things out

What I’ve discovered is that for issues where normally I’d require rounds and rounds of EFT, or a hardcore releasing session, by saying “A part of me” I can often drop the issue completely in only a few seconds.

So, what I recommend is this:

  1. Set the intent that you’re going to let go of anything that comes up
  2. Tap your karate chop point (Hong Kong Phooey gives a good demo here. Parking your car in a dumpster is optional)
  3. Ideally say the phrases out loud – it just makes it more concrete (this isn’t mandatory, it just helps)
  4. Say “Some part of me…” (then briefly describe what you’re dealing with. Keep it super short. Trust your subconscious)
  5. Let go of any tension or clutching that arises (whether physical, mental or emotional)
  6. When that feels clear, follow up with “Some part of me still…” (same description, & release)

Seems complicated, but only because I’m outlining it in detail. It’s really only one step – tap your hand while saying “some part of me is blergh” (or whatever) and let it all go.

Simple. And by a huge margin the fastest and most thorough way I’ve found to clear out deep, sticky issues.

I still use full rounds of EFT if I really want to take a baseball bat to something. I still use releasing (taking things back to wanting approval, control or security & letting them go) as a way to simply and quickly improve all areas of my life. For anywhere I’m feeling stuck, or can’t immediately sense what’s going on? This is now my goto tool.

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    How To Love Your Life

    I’ve been giving quite a lot of thought to the saying “What you resist persists” (variously attributed to either Carl Jung, or Werner Erhard).

    The logic of this is reasonably straight forward. Our brains don’t understand negatives particularly well. This is why when you drive a car, you look where you want to go, not at the thing you’re trying to avoid (coz you’ll veer towards it).

    Thus, whatever you’re thinking about you tend to create more of. It doesn’t matter too much if it’s a positive (I like that) or negative (I hate that) thought.

    Of course, this is one of the core benefits of releasing (or EFT). As your mind lets go of circling things you hate, those things tend to fall away from your life.

    If your feelings towards something are purely loving, you lose that obsessive mental grip that things we dislike have. We lose those recurring negative thoughts.  Therefore, we stop drawing those things we dislike to us.

    So where do you draw the line?

    It’s very simple. Every thought and emotion in your life is either loving or nonloving.

    Simplifying like this keeps everything very, very clear.

    It also removes the need to try and figure anything out (which just gets our ego/brain involved – never helping). It stop us getting tied up in definitions (“Am I angry, miffed, annoyed, irritated or just antsy?”). It cuts short the spiral into obsessive thought patterns.

    I’m usually not a fan of dichotomous (either/or) thinking, but in this case it’s actually very helpful. Simple is good.

    So, if that thought or emotion is loving? Great. If it’s non-loving? Say “I love you” & let it go. Remember “I love you”? Arguably the core of the four most powerful phrases in English.

    So what’s the best way of going about this? Well, here’s what I’ve found so far. And when I say “best” I mean most thorough, permanent & quickest.

    The Approach

    Generally speaking, when you think about something you dislike (have non-loving feelings towards), there will be a physical sensation (a clutching or tension) that goes with it. This usually appears in our stomach or chest. Why does this happen? Simply because our energy, emotions, bodies and minds are all part of one holistic system. Nothing operates independently.

    As you continue to think of that thing, if you say “I love you” you can simply open an imaginary door over your stomach or chest (where the tension is) and let that energy out.

    This works best especially when you don’t feel loving, because that will bring these contrary feelings to the surface even more vividly. Keep saying “I love you” and letting it out, and the clutching will disappear altogether.

    People

    Relationships are the core of our lives. “No man is an island” and all that guff. Ideally, you’d feel loving towards every person in your life. Why? Because then any time you think about anybody, you’ll feel great! How awesome would that be? It’s a trick question. The answer is very.

    Start with the people you have the most nonloving feelings for. Why? Because you’ll gain the most by changing those feelings to ones of love. Why would you want to love someone who’s currently driving you mad? Simple. Because the negative thoughts & feelings you’re harbouring are only hurting one person: You.

    You’re not doing any of this for that other person. You’re doing this for you.

    Also, be sure to get around to loving your family at some point, since they’re the ones with whom we have the most complex emotional relationships.

    So, what to do:

    1. Imagine each person in front of you.
    2. Say “I love you” to that picture you’re holding of them.
    3. Let go of all tension, feelings & thoughts that arise (remember, you are the boss here, not the thoughts or feelings)
    4. Repeat until all the clutching is gone, and you genuinely feel loving towards that person

    Of course, no person is one dimensional. So go through every non-loving event that happened with that person (just whatever pops into your mind). Remember the situation, what they said, etc. Keep circling it in your mind, all the while saying “I love you” & releasing all thoughts and feelings that come up, until you feel 100% loving about that situation with that person.

    It may seem like this will take forever, but once you get into the swing of it, it goes faster and faster. I’ve waded through 20 year relationships in a half an hour while wandering around town. The reason it gets easier is because as you continue you’re becoming more and more loving towards them. That energy builds up, so stuff drops away ever quicker.

    Events

    Sometimes events may not necessarily be about a specific person. That’s ok too.

    As described above, imagine the event in as much clarity as you can. Let the feelings come up. Say “I love you” to the event; to the feelings, and let them go. Repeat until you feel nothing but love for the situation.

    A good test is if you can emphatically and honestly declare “I am so happy that happened.” Repeat until you can.

    Ourselves

    Everybody dislikes their body. Or aspects of their bodies. There’s always something. So, just think about each part of your body in turn, say “I love you” to it, and let all the resentment, dislike and ugliness we’ve been carrying around dissipate. Yes, this may take a while, but remember, you’ve probably been carrying those nonloving feelings around most of your life. Be patient with yourself.

    Unsurprisingly by now, keep going until you feel loving about every single part of yourself. You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel about the world in general when you feel completely loving towards yourself.

    Abstract Concepts

    By this I mean “anything that’s hard to picture in your mind”. For example, “being lazy” or “feeling unmotivated.”

    With these, a slightly different approach is helpful. Rather than saying “I love you” – because it’s hard to connect with it – just ask yourself “Can I let ‘it’ go?” Don’t let your brain get all tied up in knots over what “it” is. What you’re trying to do. How it’s working or any of that.

    Just ask, and answer (particularly if you’re feeling adamantly opposed) “Yes.” Keep asking “Can I let ‘it’ go?” and keep answering “Yes.”

    Just saying “yes” has power. All the power you need. It puts you into a state of courageousness, since you’re making a decision, a choice. You just saying that you’re letting it go is enough to send that energy, that tension flying out of your body.

    Keep saying “yes!” and you’ll feel it all lift off and away.

    As always, keep it simple. Our brains like to complicate things, but it never helps.

    What to do if you get stuck

    If you get stuck with saying “I love you”, or you feel like it’s not shifting out, there are a couple of things you can do.

    1. Physically tap yourself over the spot where you’re feeling the clutching. That’ll shake up the energy & help it shift out.
    2. If you’re saying “I love you”, then try mixing it up with some “Can I let this go?” “Yes!”. That brings your inner power into play.
    3. If you’ve been doing all this in your head, try saying it out loud (& forcefully). A lot of times that verbalisation helps connect us much more strongly.
    4. Try injecting the word “still” or “all”, for example “I still love you”, or “can I let all of this go?” Don’t save any little bits for later.
    5. If you’re into it, feel free to draw down as much energy as you like from the universe to amp your “I love you”s the hell up. (Just imagine a bright white light coming down into your head then into whatever you’re dealing with, that’ll do the trick)
    6. Experiment. Play with it. Find what works best for you.

    How to say “I Love You”

    Ha ha, you think I’m kidding. No, I’m serious.

    I’ve talked about saying “I love you” in the past. Back then, I figured being super light hearted was the best appraoch. Having a light heart is great, but I’ve since learned there are ways to take that light heart and really amp up the power.

    For a start, you want to make sure you’re in a good mood before you start any of this. Good posture, a good night’s sleep, water & food will help with this, obviously. Your body is your temple (and so on).

    There are three specific energetic states that are ideal to aim for.

    • Courageousness (simply sitting up straight and emphatically repeating “Yes” will get you into this state pretty quickly)
    • Acceptance (a state of “it is what it is”. Saying that to everything in your life/mind & letting go of everything else will get you here)
    • Peace (a state of knowing. To quote The Matrix, “Don’t Think you are, Know you are.” This is a state of being – rather than thinking, worrying and so on)

    Any of these states is ideal. Peace is the most powerful. That’s when you’re fully connected to your true power. Meditation will get you there. I have to be in that state to experience my best, most loving Aikido. Peace is the flow state.

    So. Now you’re in that high, calm, place. Then start thinking about events, people and yourself.

    When you’re saying “I love you”, say it calmly, with all the attention & inner conviction you can muster. Or, if you want to, shout it with all the enthusiasm and outer conviction you can muster; that’s great too. The critical thing is just that the more you can manage to mean it, the more powerfully it will sweep all that garbage out of you.

    How do you achieve that when part of you is screaming “No, no fucking way, I do not love them”?

    Remember how you are not your mind, you’re not your body, you’re not your emotions? This is where you show them all who’s boss. Just by answering “Yes” (when your mind is screaming “No”), you take control. You are the boss. So just say it.

    Saying “Yes” is just a choice. Saying “I love you” is just a choice. The more you say it, the more true it will become, as everything non-loving disappears.

    It really is that simple. Force yourself to say it. Keep saying it. You know what will happen? Your ego will wail, complain, bitch & moan (as usual).. and then, it’ll all start to fade. We live on automatic so much, letting our emotions and thoughts push us around, so it’s easy to forget who’s really in charge.

    Remember, you’re doing this for you, not for anyone else. You’re doing it so you feel better. With that in mind, just force yourself to say (out loud if that helps) “I love you.” Then simply let all that internal noise, the physical tension, the emotional crap just float out of you.

    Why bother?

    The reason we (occasionally) feel crap is very simple. We have crappy thoughts, and crappy emotions. Let go of them, replace them with loving thoughts and emotions and what will happen? That’s right, we’ll stop feeling crappy. We’ll just feel loving, all the time. Or at the very least, a hell of a lot more of the time.

    As an added bonus, the people around you will notice. Maybe not consciously, but you will see their behaviour towards you change as you shift to only ever having loving thoughts and feelings towards them.

    Why do you think people have pets? Because everybody craves unconditional love, and animals give it. People respond to this, at an incredibly deep level.

    How much easier will it be to do your work, go about your day, to live, if all you have are loving feelings towards everything?

    Incredibly easy. Happy. Effortless. Exactly the way life is supposed to be, we just plop out on this plane and forget. So now’s the time to remember. I love you.

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      Rebecca Black vs The Internet

      In case you weren’t paying attention (or were distracted by, I don’t know, important things) Rebecca Black has become something of an internet sensation.

      The short story: Rebecca Black’s mother paid a company $4000 to produce a music video for 13 year old Rebecca, which was then released on Feb 10 2011. It received a thousand YouTube views in the first month and around 87 million in the second. Yes, those numbers are correct.

      How is it? Well, I’ll let you see for yourself (this is totally optional. I’ll explain why below):

      (If you watched it) did you catch all that? Obviously terrible lyrics, auto-tuned to hell & back, and what are thirteen year olds doing driving anyway?

      The Internet’s response was succinct:

      The criticism quickly mounted, and the song instantly became the most hated song on YouTube (1.7 million negative votes, and climbing).

      The great thing about six billion creative monkeys being clustered on a tiny rock is that you can always rely on them to be, well, creative.

      And create they did. Now, this is where the Rebecca Black story gets genuinely entertaining (rather than merely cringingly confusing).

      Remember back when I said watching it was optional? Rather than waste 3:48 of your life let me save you some time. Here’s the entire vid in 50 seconds (you won’t miss any detail):

      Got that?

      (Oh I’m sorry, you wanted to waste your day? Ok, here’s the slowed down version. It’s 15 minutes long. No I am not embedding that, hell no)

      How about the censored version?

      Oddly, this make it all seem very much more appealing.

      Or if the song was interpreted by a (very) bad lip reader?

      Including such delightful lyrics as “Have I brought this chicken for us to thaw?” and yes, nazis are mentioned (does that Godwin this post?)

      The nominative sequel “Saturday” (with an incredibly life like simulacra)

      Manages to capture the essence of the original quite effectively.

      Or Bob Dylan’s version (obviously not him, but oh boy, so wish it was)

      which while unfortunately highlighting the banality of the lyrics, is actually quite a fantastic song.

      Or the most utterly disturbing (yet equally brilliant version) yet. Please do not, NOT let small children watch this (it won’t embed, unfortunately).

      A couple of slightly cute versions: The Ice Cube/Chris Rock version (she sings, they act). Finally, her singing it acoustically (no, she really didn’t deserve that much auto-tune)

      Ok, enough of this. If you want more, search YouTube, there are currently 22,000 (yes, thousand) videos variously mocking, praising, reproducing or otherwise dissecting her song. Yes, all created in the last month. Oh human monkey people, you’re so awesome.

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      • How To Love Your Life
      • Rebecca Black vs The Internet
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