Don’t “Hang in there!”

Whenever you or anyone else tells you to “Hang in there!” it is because you and they see the current moment in your life as bad or difficult.  Yet, it is not the moment that is bad; it is the perception of the moment as bad that is creating your feelings of difficulty.  Labeling something as bad and then staying in proximity to it is antithetical to rational thinking.  Enduring bad times is actually an act of insanity.

Turn your attention as fast as you can to finding what is valuable or blessed, educational or enlightening in the moment, just as it is.  Actively look for what you are gaining by being right where you are, doing exactly what you are doing.  And, when you find that benefit, however small in comparison to everything else in this moment, put all of your attention on that benefit and say to yourself, over and over, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Put all your heart into feeling gratitude and your perception will very soon change.  You will begin to see what else is valuable in this moment.  And your awareness will expand to reveal the truth that life is always getting better and better, and you are getting better and better with it.

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From Worry to Creative Solutions

Edited – first Posted on November 15, 2010 by admin

For years, as soon as I woke up, my mind would leap into worry. Whether it was after the alarm clock rang in the morning or in the middle of the night.  My mind would immediately begin to worry about people with whom I was out of harmony, impending events that I considered daunting or projects with looming deadlines.

I dreaded waking up and falling immediately into worry so much, that, as sleep approached in the evening, I would begin worrying about waking up the following morning to a worried mind.  My body would tense, my stomach ache, my heart would feel torn to shreds.  I came to expect and endure the sensation of my entire night’s rest lost and replaced by a massive weariness.

Then, a wonderful new thought occurred to me.  What if my thinking wasn’t really worry at all?  What if my mind went to these topics because it was eager to do what it was made to do — find solutions to apparent problems?  What if my mind was scanning the landscape of my life for places to use its Creative Imagining?

And, where better to use creative imagining than on those concerns I had identified as real-time, real-world dilemmas?  Of course!  This made perfect sense.

Now, as I wake into a brand new dawn, I direct the energy, talent and wisdom of my sweet mind toward satisfying and expansive solutions.  The way I do this is by posing some very simple questions for my mind to answer.  I realize that, with a solution-oriented invitation, my mind will as eagerly look for creative – and welcome –answers just as readily as it used to look for troubles.

I invite you to join me and wake up your mind in this loving way each morning.  Simply ask yourself the following questions. And, you needn’t trouble yourself to focus on finding the answers right away.  Simply allow your eyes to scan over these questions when you awake.  [Print the questions on a piece of paper and tape the paper to the ceiling above your bed.  Then, in the morning, open your eyes and, in drowsy hypnopompic ease, just allow your gaze to slowly drift down the page from top to bottom.]

I guarantee you will see your own fine mind leaping eagerly into the day looking for – and finding – available, workable and welcome answers, just like a young dog bounding after a ball thrown far into an open field.  All that’s left for you to do is get up from bed, calmly prepare for your unfolding day and be prepared to feel the thrill of welcome solutions arriving to satisfy you and fulfill your requests.

Then, at bedtime, again just like with a loyal dog, pet your mind, thank it for having served you so well, and promise to give it as much good to chase after tomorrow.

LOVING QUESTIONS FOR MY FINE MIND

1.  About this current situation, what unique, respectful and imaginative contribution can I come up with today?

2. What new answers to old problems can I discover today?

3. What new skills will I develop today, and how will I use them to great satisfaction?

4.Who can I see in a brighter more loving light today?

5. What exciting new contribution can I give to the world today?

6.How can I feel more alive, happy, and thankful today?

This simple shift from labeling the process of my own morning thinking from worry to Creative Imagining has made a fantastic difference in my life.  I ardently invite you to give it a test.

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Comprehension, Reason and Superstition

To genuinely, fully comprehend something, a person allows herself to experience that thing in a significant and intentionally invested manner.  True comprehension is an act of personal discovery which leads to internalized understanding.  How ever unique to the person the experience may be, the sensations of that experience cannot be denied.  And thus, the person’s comprehension cannot be argued or denied.

To reason is to apply explanations, justification, inference and intellectual analysis to a thing.  Most often, these tools of reason are obtained from sources other than the reasoner’s personal experience. Reasoning is not so much an act of experience as it is one of observation and judgment formulated from various external sources and “authorities”.  By its nature, reason is limited to the scope of theoretical speculation and accumulated data available from outside the reasoner.  That is to say, unlike comprehension, which is founded in sensory-confirming experience, reasoning is bounded within a circle of second-hand information beyond which is ignorance.

Superstition is a belief resulting from ignorance.  When a person chooses to speculate on the world beyond her own experiential comprehension of it, she immediately enters the realms of reason and superstition.  As much as we are seemingly awash in a sea of reason — of evidence and proof and science and authorities — much of that seemingly irrefutable reason is frequently and rapidly disproven, revealing a basis in superstition.  And yet, we quote these reasoning sources, we vote for them and we turn over the care of our bank accounts and our bodies to them.  And when they fail us, we are again faced with the knowledge that without the confirmation of our own personal experience, we stood on thin ice that could not hold us.

There is much temptation to speak as though we comprehend something about the thousands of topics swirling around us in conversation and media.  However, it’s probable that what we repeat from external sources will prove, in time, to be no more well-reasoned than simple short-lived superstition.  In either case, the one who contributes this second-hand information only echoes someone else’s speculation.

Yet, the person who offers her own irrefutable insight from personal experience actually adds to the body of human understanding, or comprehension, in a vastly more useful and applicable way.  It’s on the shoulders of such persons that those who continue to develop the evolution of mankind stand and grow.

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A MILLION – FREE AND CLEAR

Game #29 of THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD IS YOURS; 21 Games for Remembering and Staying Yourself in a World of Change

A MILLION – FREE AND CLEAR

One of the most joy-destroying mindsets we can have is to believe ourselves poor. And, yet, the idea of poverty is always founded on comparison between our current state and either another state we have created in imagination or, more often, someone else’s state. Comparison is definitely the fastest way out of Heaven or any hope of grounded self-appreciation.

It is never the differing conditions that are a problem – for the world is obviously big enough to encompass all possible states and activities and conditions and people, simply because it does. The problem arises when the mind gets caught in comparison and the person feels compelled to assign relative value to things and people.

Yet, for the most part, we and things just are. No need to say what is better what is worse, what is good what is bad, what has intrinsic value and what doesn’t. For, in the end, no matter how strident our arguments and how convinced we become, the truth is, we are all different, with different desires and on different paths and comparing does nothing to change this. It only casts the comparison-troubled mind out of the Heaven possible for those who simply go about their own happy, productive and prosperous lives.

The good news is, since this is essentially a state of mind, it is in mind where we can find resolution and return, again, to our natural relationship with who we are and what we have, which is in balance, acceptance and eagerness to enjoy what is in us and for us, here and now.

And, it is always from this point that your finest new ideas for growth and expansion come – never from the grasping, drowning terror of having too little.

Breathe in…… Breathe out……

To begin this mind-liberating game, which in turn will open your awareness to the absolute abundance that surrounds and fills you now, simply relax and

Breathe in…… Breathe out……

Now, in your imagination, line up all your family and friends and everyone you are currently involved with. This involvement can be coworkers, people you see every day at the bus stop in the dry cleaners or the hardware store.

Place these people in a line, shoulder to shoulder and facing you. In the hands of each person put a check. Each check is for one million dollars and, in the lower left corner of each check, the words, “Free and Clear” are written. Each check is drawn from the account of the person holding it, and each one is made out to you.

Breathe in…… Breathe out……

Now, walk from one end of this lineup of people to the other. Look into the eyes of the giver and say “Thank you,” as you accept each check.

Notice what your thoughts are about the giver and how you feel as you accept each check. Notice if you decline or refuse to accept the check.

If you refuse the check, stay standing in front of that person until the check transforms into something you are willing to accept from that person. Notice if you refuse to accept anything from that person. Then, notice what thoughts you have that incite that refusal. Is the thought about how you don’t think he/she can afford to give something/anything
to you? Or is the thought about how you will not accept anything from that person because you prefer to sustain an opinion/judgment about that person being an awful person who cannot be good enough to give anything? Will you have to redefine your own story about that person and accepting a gift will force you to do that?

Continue on down the line of people accepting these checks being offered to you while you consider how much, right now, is being held out to you for the taking, “free and clear.”

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Who Can Be Hypnotized?

As a hypnotist, I am often asked, “Who can be hypnotized?”

According to an article in Prevention magazine, The Healing Power of Hypnosis, by Alexis Jetter, March 2006, the answer is “Nearly everyone.”  Jetter reports this is the conclusion of “Max Shapiro, PhD, director of education and research for the New England Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the former chief psychologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts. He has found that 91% of the population is susceptible to hypnotic suggestion.”

However, consider that “nearly everyone,” could be closer to 100% of us.  If you have ever been scared in the dark, felt momentarily consumed by unfounded fear or dread, cried in a movie, or shouted back at someone else’s anger, these are all examples of times when you were hypnotized.  In each of these cases, you had become entranced by a suggestion that was sufficiently powerful to cause psychological and physiological responses in you without any person or thing actually touching your body, each response prompted merely by a suggestion, which is the essence of all hypnosis.

Hypnosis occurs when your attention is narrowly focused, your imagination is actively engaged and, together, they evoke an emotional state.  What is most interesting is that all of this happens inside you.  This is why hypnotists say it is the subject who hypnotizes herself.  All a hypnotist does and can ever do is make a suggestion.  The hypnosis happens when the recipient agrees to accept and act on that suggestion.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that everyone is always aware of all of the suggestions being made to them.  Through the words of your friends, the advertisements of merchants, the images of filmmakers, and the edicts of behavior from parents, teachers and every other authority external to your own mind, you are being bombarded by suggestions to act, think and believe as others would like you to do.  Sometimes the only way we can know that we took a suggestion is to look at what we are wearing, eating, saying or doing.  Only by standing back from time to time to look at our own activities can we assess if we have been hypnotized.

Notice if it feels as though you have been going from one external suggestion to another, acting like an android or a well-trained monkey, doing what other people told you to do, regardless of whether or not it correlated to any sense of your own genuine satisfaction or purpose on the planet.  If, in observing yourself and your choices, you don’t particularly like what you’re doing, what you’re wearing or eating or saying or in any other way behaving, it can be worthwhile to question whose suggestions you’ve been following.  And, if what you see surprises you, consider this surprise as an awakening from hypnotic trance.

Nevertheless, despite the sense of being jolted a bit by this awakening, this is a good place to be. Your salvation rests in this startling recognition.  Since the hypnotic trance state always happens inside the mind of the recipient, this means that you always have the ultimate authority to stop taking unwanted suggestions.  You have the power and the supreme right to evict from your head any and every voice whose ideas you no longer wish to follow.  And the greatest news of all – when you stop giving away your “authority,” it automatically returns full-force to you.

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Accepting Your Success

Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you have contemplated your dreamed-of or impending success, a thought comes that tells you you won’t be able to handle it?  Instead of visualizing all of the goodness and benefits of all that you have worked toward, do you ever find your mind vividly depicting horrible outcomes, failures, tragedies and loss?

I invite you to consider that these unlovely cautionary tales and mini-movies are simply evidence that you have momentarily fallen into perceiving the world through the authoritarian conscience.  As discussed in the preceding post, the authoritarian conscience is an internalization of external authority, most often unrelated to our own personal value judgments.  The words of authoritarian conscience are those of caution, suggested danger and outright threat.  And they are very effective in gaining the compliance of children, which is why big people will continue to use this pattern on children.

However, what is troubling is that, if we continue into adulthood looking through this externalized and scary lens, we see the world as a dangerous place in which failure, loss and tragedy are probable and incessant outcomes.  As long as we are held spell-bound by this view, we will do all we can to minimize those awful outcomes, including the sabotage or betrayal of our desired success.  This can create an exhausting internal tug-of-war as our natural urge to grow and develop who we are, to become successful in being ourselves, collides with this invading voice that is constantly holding us back from certain danger.

Yet, it is possible to lessen the authority of that voice.  We can release ourselves of that thwarting force by simply acknowledging that we followed its guidance originally when we were naive and innocent children.  We yielded our minds to its authority when we were small and were, indeed, in a place of greater susceptibility and vulnerability in a world we didn’t know.

Of course, a child could not handle the success of a business owner, the achievements of a fine athlete, the satisfaction of an accomplished designer or the fruitful expressions of a mature, creative adult.  However, as you are achieving that success, that satisfaction, that fulfillment of your finest dreams, you are not that child; you are an adult fulfilling your place in the scheme of things.

Now, as adults, we have already achieved a place of adequate self-mastery and sufficient communication skills.  To some degree all of us have come to understand the world in which we live and are at ease with the responsibilities of adulthood.  We can let go of the perception of ourselves as small.  And, indeed, we must let go of that self perception in order for others to see us as we wish to be seen.  For, it is unavoidably true that we are forever being seen as we see ourselves, as this cautionary Biblical passage suggests.  ”And there we saw the giants… and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”Numbers 13:33.

As any other living thing, you were born to thrive.  You are here to receive, savor and effectively handle the successful expressions of your own purposeful life.  You are here to easily and smoothly manage the goodness and profit that naturally come into such an accomplished life.  You are here to reclaim your mind from the implanted external authority, to retrieve your life by self-actualization, and to reap a great and worthy harvest that befits your finest dreams.

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Reawakening from the Voice of Authority to Creative Self-Actualization

I’ve recently been contemplating what the German philosopher Erich Fromm called the “Authoritarian Conscience,” and the “Humanistic Conscience” in his 1947 book Man for Himself; An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics.  I’ve renamed the latter as the “Self-Actualized Conscience,” due to a preference for the concept of self-actualization and an awareness of certain irrelated prejudices toward the word “humanistic.”

According to Fromm, “The authoritarian conscience is the voice of an internalized external authority.”  Before one internalizes the external voices, the person may comply with edicts and directives for the authority’s “alleged or real ability to punish and to reward.”  Fromm believed that, in this state, compliance is predominantly governed by the feeling of fear.

However, after we internalize those voices, when “the laws and sanctions of external authority become part of oneself,… instead of feeling responsible to something outside oneself, one feels responsible to something inside, to one’s conscience.” And, “one can not escape from oneself, nor, therefore, from the internalized authority which has become part of oneself…. The prescriptions of authoritarian conscience are not determined by one’s own value judgment but exclusively by the fact that its commands and taboos are pronounced by authorities.”  In this case, after the voice of external authority has taken up residence within, compliance is prompted most often by guilt.

In my continuing study of these concepts, I’ve linked the Authoritarian conscience concept to the “Competitive Mind” of Wallace D. Wattles, author of the 1910 classic The Science of Getting Rich, and the Self-Actualized conscience with Wallace’s “Creative Mind.”  Wattles contends that living from a competitive mind interferes with our living as free individuals since, in that state, we’re forever looking over our shoulder at what other people are doing and feel driven to keep up with them.  It seems to me that this sense of competitiveness arises or is, at least, greatly strengthened by the authoritarian conscience which is forever comparing us to who we should be and to whom we are not, pitting us in incessant competition with those ideals, as well as with everyone else on the planet.

On the other hand, living in Creative Mind ensures that our attention is on what we can add to the world, which can most freely happen when we are living from our own value judgments.  Fromm’s definition of [Humanistic] Self-Actualized Conscience is  ”our very own voice, present in every human being and independent of external sanctions and rewards…. It is the voice of our true selves which summons us back to ourselves, to live productively, to develop fully and harmoniously — that is, to become what we potentially are.  It is the guardian of our integrity; it is the ‘ability to guarantee one’s self with all due pride, and also at the same time to say yes to one’s self.‘* If love can be defined as the affirmation of the potentialities and care for, and the respect of, the uniqueness of the loved person, humanistic conscience can be justly called the voice of our loving care for ourselves.”

* F Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morals, II, 3. Cf. also Heidegger’s description of conscience in M. Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, 54-60, Halle a.s., 1927.

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What We Know… and What We Think We “Know”

Today’s entry was going to be very short, Begin It!  I’d intended to compose a brief admonition to embark as soon as you can on the path of your own invention; a few paragraphs to inspire readers to commit to their private, personal, intuitive callings.  It was going to be a simple and sweet exhortation to step in that direction today because a person’s unique and personal path could be something so magnificent, so vast, so extraordinary that to do it justice could take the full measure of a fine, long life.

To add weight to this opinion, I intended to include a quote  from the great German author and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe which I’ve used for decades to inspire myself and others to courageous action.  Wanting to quote it accurately, I decided to do a quick internet search for –

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Well, what ho!  These words I’d all but memorized and used repeatedly to hearten others, though still inspiring, apparently were neither penned nor spoken by Goethe.

On this website, http://german.about.com/library/blgermyth12.htm, I read that these words actually were only ascribed to Goethe by Scottish Mountaineer William Hutchinson Murray (1913-1996), in his 1951 book entitled The Scottish Himalayan Expedition.*  Perhaps Murray wished to do then what I had desired to do today — to give as much convincing authority to our words by adding a quote from a famous person.

Nevertheless, this leads me to consider the vast difference between what we know in our bones — those direct experiences we have in our own personal, physical, individuals lives –and those things we are told second-hand, which we subsequently claim we know — family stories, anything a teacher has taught us, our friends’ opinions and everything from the media.  Information from these sources is actually heresay, “information gathered by one person from another person concerning some event, condition, or thing of which the first person has no direct experience.”**

Of course, it’s great fun to be open-minded to the ideas and experiences of others, if only for the richness of their story-telling that enlivens our imaginations.  Yet, as any lawyer will tell you, heresay is not admissible in court.  Therefore, I invite you to give your life the same respect that courts give defendants:  seriously consider the “truths” you receive second-hand before you use them as a basis for your judgements, your future actions or your life’s philosophy.

* Yes, I did check the veracity of this research by going to the website of the Goethe Society http://www.goethesociety.org/pages/quotescom.html.  And, yes, they did corroborate the story — the words are not Goethe’s.

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearsay

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Radical Happiness

Radical Happiness is the state of active, animated and appreciative engagement with Life that cannot be disrupted by any event.  Nothing — not “bad” weather, the seeming appearance of insurmountable problems, “annoying” people, troubles of any sort — nothing can unseat Radical Happiness.  Radical Happiness requires no defending from evil influences, takes no effort to maintain and requires no perfection.  Neither can Radical Happiness be bought or earned; it simply IS for all to enjoy.

And yet, Radical Happiness can seem out of reach to the faint hearted.  Here is one way to observe the strength and fortitude of your own heart.  Simply say as frequently as you mindfully can today, “I’m satisfied.”  Then, notice where and why you can confirm this and where and why you argue mightily against it.

This is a quick and illuminating exercise to help you know for yourself that Radical Happiness lives where you feel happily and effortlessly connected with something, some idea or someone and cannot abide where dissatisfaction — especially incessant and unyielding dissatisfaction — holds your attention.  Be compassionate with yourself as you realize this.

Then say again, “I’m satisfied,” and look with close attention for something, anything, right here and now, with which you can feel satisfied.  Focus on that thing while you take your next breath.  As you breathe, focusing appreciation on that thing, simply say on the inhalation, “I’m,” and on the exhalation, ”satisfied,” and allow yourself to feel this satisfaction.

Notice the instantaneous relief that comes over your body and mind, even if at first, it only lasts a moment.  Notice it and richly experience it.  In that noticing and experiencing, you will recognize how close you are to Radical Happiness — the immediately retrievable and infinitely delicious happiness that is here always and forever available to you.

Radical Happiness — just a breath away.

 

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Celebrate the Successful

Ormond McGill, considered the Dean of American Hypnotists, a most marvelous human being and my stage hypnosis mentor said, “Celebrate the successful, for they show us what is possible.”

Regarding successful people, Ormond suggested that we study each person we consider successful until we see three admirable qualities we believe contribute to their success.  Then, he said to take each of those qualities and adapt it to our own lives.  After that, like scientists, watch as objectively as possible how these adopted admirable qualities propel us, too, closer to the expression of our own successes.

For example, if an athlete you admire is known for her tenacious commitment to working out every day, then “work out” on your own talent or interest daily and feel your skills being honed and your commitment strengthening.  If you admire and consider successful the man who runs the local grocery store because he treats all his employees with the same good-natured respect with which he treats his customers, then model that respect with your own co-workers, subordinates and boss (who, in one way or another, are your customers).

Also, Ormond recommended telling these people you regard as successful and admirable how you feel whenever possible.  Let them know what you admire about them and how you have chosen to model their lives in that way.

We all know the wounding power of gossips who look for the flaws in others.  And, by the preponderance of gossip in the press and newsstand magazines, no one receives more of that misdirected expression of envy and jealousy than do successful people.  Gossip, criticism and faultfinding can have a suffocating effect on the dreams of fainter hearts.  (And, paradoxically, these behaviors often do put out the light of boldness in the very ones who play in the realms of gossip and criticism.)

Now reflect on the potency of kind and supportive words in your own heart.  Remember the encouragements that you have received over your lifetime, and you will know the power they have to help the daring adventurer to her finish line, the bold dreamer into a new dawn of achievement.  So give your compliments and expressions of gratitude generously to those who are showing us what is possible.  No one is so successful that she will not be grateful in return for your appreciative words.

And, for those who subsume their imaginations in the psychic sink of gossip, as well as those who whine perennially about what is wrong and what they don’t have, extend compassion to these misguided ones.  However, when caught in these states of mind, people are often prone to bite the hand of kindness.  You see, what a good word tends to do is shine a light on the falsity of their claims that this world is a living hell.  So, in these cases, it is sometimes best to communicate your compassion wordlessly.  And, when you feel your very presence is reason enough for them to fall into their “ain’t it awful” stories, then simply remove yourself from the range of their chaos, giving them one less “other” to find fault with.

However, never pity anyone, regardless of how grim or vile their state of mind and, by extension, state of life appears to you.  We each travel the right paths for ourselves, and no one else can know what gifts lie scattered across a battlefield or strewn over a pauper’s trail.  As the author G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel.”

Instead, wish for everyone – whether successful or failed in your eyes – wish everyone, “God speed” on whatever path they are traveling.

 

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