Who Owns Your Thoughts and Feelings?

ANGER MGMTI once received an emergency call to help someone who was suicidal. Of course I agreed to see him right away. As soon as he arrived it became clear what the problem was. He began listing all of the things that were wrong with him that made him want to kill himself. It turned out that all of these “things” were feelings.

He was convinced that his feelings were so unacceptable that the only possible solution was to remove himself from the face of the earth.

As he listed each horrible thing that he believed was “wrong with him,” I said, “But everyone feels that way!”

Each time he looked at me quizzically. “They do?”

And every time I repeated, quite emphatically, “Yes! They do!” Then I backed it up with many common examples, including examples of my own personal experience with these kinds of thoughts and feelings.

We went back and forth about this for over an hour. He would describe something that was “wrong” with him and I would say, “Everyone has that.” Again he would appear surprised and again I would convince him it was entirely ordinary. At the end of the session, he left feeling extremely happy. To this day he hasn’t had another episode of suicidal thinking. So what happened there?

The Problem of Ownership

Have you ever noticed that when you think of something as “mine” you don’t want to let go of it, even if it causes you suffering?

This is how we’re thinking when we say “I’m hurt” or “I’m angry.” We’re thinking these thoughts and feelings belong to us personally.

This kind of thinking pulls you into those feelings, as though you’re fused with them. It’s as though suddenly you are your hurt feelings – you are your anger. It’s not accurate, but that’s how we tend to think about it.

This complicates the whole issue of dealing with reactions and upsets. If I think this hurt is a part of me, that it defines who I am (even if only in this moment) it could be embarrassing to reveal it. And feeling embarrassed isn’t high on my list of enjoyments.

But what if you noticed that you’re separate from your thoughts and feelings? Think about it for a moment: I am not my thoughts and feelings.

Thinking this, you can more easily stop calling your emotions “mine.” Now you can just label them as experiences, or even just “objects in awareness”: Hmm, look at this intense object in my awareness – how interesting!

Hey-thats-mineWe rarely question this seemingly natural sense of ownership of “my” thoughts, feelings and sensations. It’s a profound error that causes untold amounts of suffering. Ownership implies uniqueness. If it’s mine, if it’s “me” then it can’t also be “yours” – it can’t be you and me. If you judge something to be your unique flaw or shortcoming, you’re probably going to suffer shame and self-hatred.

This idea of unique ownership, and the shame and self-hatred that go with holding onto this idea, blinds us to the fact that what we are experiencing is a universal human emotion. It’s a set of feelings and sensations that every human being has probably thought or felt at one time or another. So it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Would you like to convince yourself? You can practice this way:

Think to yourself, “I’m noticing a fearful thought in my awareness right now . . . and a fearful sensation in the (not my) body.” As you observe what it’s like to have this thought and this sensation, realize that this is a human experience, not your personal and unique, shameful experience.

Practicing thinking this way may seem weird, robotic even. But doing it has a surprising effect — it takes the power of persuasion away from those attacking or fearful thoughts, and removes the sting from the emotions they cause. Instead of becoming a robot, you will become more yourself. You’ll be a more relaxed human being.

And what’s more, as you become adept at noticing your thought/feeling state, you can begin to sense the age of the former ‘you’ who used to feel powerless and weird whenever you were in that state. As you sense yourself in that place and time of your life, you can consciously shift her posture so that it is upright, open and present, full of awareness. As you hold this posture, absorb this freed-up energy into your heart. This, too, helps you become a more and more a relaxed human being! Not unique maybe, but definitely happier.

Good luck. Have fun!

_______________________________________________________________

Upcoming Events!

  • On April 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm EST you can listen for free as I’m interviewed for the series Your Soul’s Secrets Revealed.  Starting March 31, 2014 my friend and colleague (and a graduate of my Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP training) Dana Louise Williams will be interviewing 22 gifted experts — doctors, healers, psychics, authors, astrologers, and some who have had near-death experiences.
  • Jack with class outsideThe 26th annual Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP Summer Intensive certification training begins July 10th, 2014. Enjoy making profound liberating changes in your life:  Come and join us!
  • I’ll be giving a seminar in London on October 3-6 “Spontaneous Solutions:  The Art & Skill of Transpersonal Hypnotherapy and NLP”    Register now

________________________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West.

Jack also offers private sessions, in person and via Skype or phone internationally.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, Overcoming Fear, self esteem, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Love (and Empathy) Got to Do with Relationships on Valentine’s Day?

happy-together-300x203We call it “falling in love” but what is it we’ve really fallen into? Whatever it is, Valentine’s Day is our perfect day for it.

So many flowers, so many chocolates, so many cards. Lots of momentary happiness, and then . . . suddenly resentment strikes again! If your experience of falling in love has ever taken a nosedive like this, you know what I’m talking about. You wake up a few days or weeks after meeting your soul mate and think, “What did I ever see in her/him?”

If after the relationship becomes sexual you suddenly feel cool and indifferent toward your partner, you may be running a Don Juan-like mental program (women can run this program, too). In this scenario you project your “urge to merge” onto your romantic partner. Instead of relating to that person as they are, you relate to them in a dreamlike trance, in which your partner represents the glowing promise of losing yourself in bliss.

You make contact. It’s so intoxicating! But once the passion has cooled, you see your partner in their ordinariness as a human being. You’re discouraged to see that they’ve lost their mojo.

At this point, the game changes. Staying involved now requires that you relate in ordinary ways with an ordinary person who seems diabolically gifted at exposing your own ordinariness.

Distracted couple in cafeWhere did all the magic go, the surge of sensual wonder, the adoration you felt just yesterday, between the sheets?

What happens then? You project all of your I’m-not-good-enough judgments onto your romantic partner. And voila! Suddenly they’re the one who’s not good enough! So naturally, we must move on in search of the ideal lover – the personification of your passionate hallucination.

And so the cycle begins again.

My teacher Chögyam Trungpa described this dynamic simply and clearly:

“It is very difficult to learn to love. If an object of fascination or some kind of dream or promise is presented to you, you might fall in love. But it is very hard to love if it means purely giving love without expecting anything in return. We can only fall in love if we think our expectations will be fulfilled. In most of our love affairs, our love is conditional. It is more of a business deal than actual love.” *

Many relationships survive the Don Juan stage, but if the “business deal” is still in place, there is constant struggle. Each partner expects “payment” for every kindness or good feeling they bestow on the other.

sandheartBut what would it look like to give love without expecting anything in return? Isn’t that only for saints, or monks . . . or worse, won’t it mean submitting and becoming a doormat? Not at all. Giving unconditional love arises from a sense of your own unconditional OK-ness. It may be necessary to do some work to reacquaint yourself with your basic goodness, of course. But once you have reconnected with your self-worth, you’re able to be generous with your partner and with yourself. You don’t need a good business deal to keep you happy.

There may not be any such thing as “true love,” but what about “truly loving?” What does that look like? In a word: Empathy. You’re practicing empathy when you don’t try to defend your goodness because you know it doesn’t need defending. You’re able to listen to your partner’s needs and desires without perceiving a threat.

Practicing empathy means paying attention to another’s experience without judgment, without clinging to the hope of a payoff, and without fearing that you won’t get what you need. No more business deal. You’re listening to your friend and watching them closely because you want to connect in a shared space where you both feel seen and valued just as you are. This is truly loving. This is unconditional love.

Don’t worry if you’re not an unconditionally loving and empathethic lover . . .  yet. Empathy takes time and practice. Happily, the recent research on cognitive aging indicates that the longer you practice empathy, the easier it gets, and the more creatively you’ll be likely to express unconditional love.

Enjoy Valentine’s Day! Give and receive cards and flowers and chocolates. Go out to dinner. In the midst of these celebrations, may you be inspired to give the true love gift of empathy.

To support your exploration of truly loving, you may want to check out my Survival Kits for Dating, Sexual Intimacy, and Relationships.

* Chögyam Trungpa, from “Planting the Moon of Bodhi in Your Heart,” The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, Volume Two, pp. 97–98.

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West.

Jack also offers private sessions, in person and via Skype or phone internationally.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Addictions & Compulsions, compassion, Dating, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, learning, Overcoming Fear, Relationship, self esteem, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Easy Good Habits: Put Your Attention Where Your Heart Is

Getting stuck in anxious energy and busyness, but getting nowhere. Does this sound familiar? I call it “running in place,” and it’s a sure sign that I’ve stopped giving myself love and compassion. When you notice yourself doing this, don’t think, “I have to stop this.” Instead, think, “Oh! I’m running-in-place! I must be denying myself love and compassion.”

good-habits-self-compassion-hug-womenThen if you like, you can put your hand to your heart as you do in the Hands Over Heart Technique I mentioned in this earlier post.

  • To practice self-love (patience) and kindness (compassion), stand still in the present moment – relax, breathe, open, be aware that you are here in this moment without a storyline.
  • Generously give your attention to a powerfully positive moment in your life — a time when you felt utterly joyful and free and happy to be alive. As you do this, affirm a basic confidence in your own resourcefulness and in your connection to life itself.
  • You are connecting to your natural courage now.
  • To keep your courage alive in your mind and heart, you can place your hands over your heart, and gently close your eyes. Once again call up your powerfully positive moment. Make it vivid and alive. Now open your eyes again and return to your life refreshed. Consider your purposes and your plans with new energy.

To support yourself in this Easy Good Habit, you might try listening to Awakening Inner Wisdom and Love (CD or MP3) every day for at least a week. The best time to do this is either just as you’re waking up in the morning, or just before you go to bed at night, but many of my friends listen to their tapes at lunch, to freshen themselves for the rest of their day. See what works for you.

That’s the end of our 2014 series, “Easy Good Habits.” I hope you enjoyed trying them out!

May skillfulness of heart and mind, and every kind of compassionate activity, flow effortlessly throughout every aspect of your life.

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West.

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success, confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being. Book Jack Elias to speak to your group.

 

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, exploring consciousness, Hypnosis for Health, learning, Overcoming Fear, PTSD, Relationship, self esteem | Leave a comment

Easy Good Habits: The Courage to Be Kind

In the last post, I mentioned making the conscious effort to soften your heart with patience and kindness (and therefore courage). Were you surprised to see “courage” in there?

Confidence_jump1Did it surprise you to think that softening your heart, consciously becoming more patient and kind through consistent effort, takes courage?

If it did surprise you, please consider that it is an act of courage when you resist the fearful habitual thought patterns that keep you stuck, or anxiously running-in-place inside yourself, unable to move forward.

It is possible to make major shifts — to easily make true and lasting positive change in any area of your life — when you call on the courage to be kind.

When you call up this courage to be kind, you affirm a basic confidence in your own resourcefulness and in your connection to life itself (en-courage-ment).

Want to try a courageous experiment?
Think of the last time you had a really good idea that worked out well. Think of the moment of inspiration that sprang up and how you felt enlivened and *encouraged* when it arose in your mind. “That’s it!” And remember how, when you acted on it, you were pleased that you had contributed to the outcome in an essential, meaningful way. Maybe things turned out even better than you had envisioned. Close your eyes for a moment and let yourself enjoy that moment all over again, in full vivid detail.

Courage is beautiful, isn’t it?

Now . . . focus on a time when you stood up for yourself or someone else who needed your help and advocacy. Sit or stand up very straight while you recall this. Feel the strength of your heart, and affirm its strength.

Think, “I have the courage to be kind.  And it feels great.”

Your courage is always ready to show itself to you. Call on these memories of inspiration, of the courage to think well of yourself and your own ideas, to be kind and patient with yourself and others.

To support yourself in this Easy Good Habit, you might try listening to Becoming Fearless and Compassionate (CD or MP3) every day for at least a week. The best time to do this is either just as you’re waking up in the morning, or just before you go to bed at night, but many of my friends listen to their tapes at lunch, to freshen themselves for the rest of their day. See what works for you.

Next up: Put Your Attention Where Your Heart Is 

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West.

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success, confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being. Book Jack Elias to speak to your group.

 

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, Overcoming Fear, PTSD, Relationship, self esteem, transpersonal hypnotherapy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Easy Good Habits: Soften Up with Kindness and Compassion

Child and Chick_BirdI believe that the start of a new year is a great time to shake things up a little.

So . . . here’s a radical three-part notion:

1. When you soften your heart with patience and kindness (and therefore courage), positive thoughts are able to make a greater impact on your mind.

2. When you strengthen your positive thoughts, it automatically becomes much easier to change your perspective and make things work.

3. Therefore, the most powerful thing you can do to create a positive mind-state — the state from which flows all creativity, health and wellbeing, as well as worldly success — is to allow your heart to soften.

How do you soften up? You’re really going to enjoy this . . .

  • First, consider that your true self is already peaceful, free, and kind. All you need to do is reacquaint yourself with its natural healing gesture: compassion.
  • Next, affirm this in your own experience. Notice (or remember) what happens when you see a child or a small animal suffering. Usually you’ll feel a pang of concern. You wish they weren’t hungry, hurt, or lonely. At the very least you may feel momentarily uncomfortable. This is a glimmer of compassion. It is your heart’s natural gesture, and it reaches out to another being —  either overtly or invisibly —  whenever you see them suffering.
  • Say to yourself, “Because my heart is naturally compassionate, I am kind. This compassion would like to ease all of the suffering I see.” Stand before a mirror and say this out loud to yourself. It’s OK if you laugh — it is kind of funny to talk to a mirror. But it’s also very interesting. It’s good practice acknowledging what’s true.

To support yourself in this new Easy Good Habit, you might try listening to Becoming Fearless and Compassionate (CD or MP3) every day for at least a week. The best time to do this is either just as you’re waking up in the morning, or just before you go to bed at night, but many of my friends listen to their tapes at lunch, to freshen themselves for the rest of their day. See what works for you.

  • Next up: The Courage to Be Kind

As always, sharing and questions are welcome!

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West.

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success, confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being. Book Jack Elias to speak to your group.
Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, learning, Overcoming Fear, PTSD, self esteem, transpersonal hypnotherapy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Try So Hard! Not Your Average New Year’s Resolutions

Summer Intensive 2013Happy New Year! Amazing to think it’s already 2014.

Is your inbox flooded with messages about keeping your New Year’s Resolutions? I promise this will not be just another ‘how to’ message for you. (If you like, you can skip straight to the “Hands Over Heart Technique” at the end, but you might want to read on to learn why it’s my #1 secret.)

Once a student was lamenting to my Zen master, Shunryo Suzuki Roshi, that she was unable to accomplish all the things she wanted to do (in order to be a “good” Zen student). Roshi said, “Pick something easy. Just one thing. And if you do it everyday without fail, it will make everything work.”

That doesn’t sound so hard, does it? Why, then, do we still seem to have so much trouble keeping our promises to ourselves? I’ll tell you why.

  • At the core of every failed plan to fulfill our resolutions, there has been a root defect.  Ironically, it’s also the simplest and most important step that we’re overlooking: Constant genuine self-appreciation (love) and encouragement.

You may think, But that’s too easy!

Well yes, it’s easy. But it’s not too easy. It does take a little effort.

For the past few weeks I’ve encouraged you to make kind gestures to yourself – even as simple as practicing the ‘hands over heart’ technique. If you did this, you may have noticed some valuable positive changes. Such a small thing, but just this One

For the next few weeks I’ll be posting a series called “Easy Good Habits to Make You More Fabulous in 2014.”

I’m only half-kidding. I really am going to offer you some Easy Good Habits. If it sounds like a makeover, there’s a method in this madness. By adopting these habits I’m going to share with you in the coming weeks, you can quite readily harness the power of your naturally good mind and heart, and transform not just this year, but every year of your life, from 2014 onward.

To kick it off, here’s a sneak peek at Most Important Thing you can do that will supercharge any one of my Easy Good Habits to make it an Easy Great Habit:

Fuel Up Your Positive Thoughts

  • Everyone’s heard that it’s important to “think positively” to get positive results. But more important than emphasizing positive thoughts is to “fuel up” those positive thoughts.
  • What’s the fuel, you’re probably wondering. All you need to do is genuinely connect with positive feeling energy. It’s already within you, so don’t think you’re conjuring up something out of nothing. Just remember what it feels like to feel wonderful, then “give” that feeling to your positive thoughts. They’ll expand!

All this and more is contained in a simple act of patience and kindness, which is why, if you keep practicing such acts, you find more and more richness and aliveness in every area of your life. When you say “yes” to life’s commitment to you in the moment, life answers “yes” in every situation, and in every moment. The more often you make your gesture, the more re-sensitized you become to life’s constant beckoning gesture of kindness.

There is a beautiful statement of commitment that expresses this. It comes from spiritual traditions that involve a guru/disciple relationship, but the truth applies to your relationship with Life itself as your guru:

“When you take one step towards your guru, your guru takes 1000 steps towards you.”

In 2014, continue to cultivate the kindness and patience. As Suzuki Roshi suggested to his student, you can begin with “just one easy thing” and watch Life take a thousand steps toward you, with open arms. You can begin with . . .

The Hands Over Heart Technique

  • For just 5 times a day for just 20 seconds, with your hands over your heart, stop and breathe with a soft belly and soft shoulders, then bless that part of you that fears, and bless the one who inspires the fear. For ‘fear’ you can substitute any negative emotion — jealously, resentment, etc. that you might be battling with.

Do this for yourself daily for one month – just try it, 5 times a day for 20 seconds each. Certainly you can spare 100 seconds per day! When January is over, take note of how your life has changed. You might find that this practice has grown on you.

May you fill the path of 2014 with your love and enthusiasm!

For support, consider the Awakening Inner Wisdom & Love Audio program (CD or MP3).

As always, sharing and questions are welcome!

Email jack@FindingTrueMagic.com. Good luck!

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West.

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success, confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being. Book Jack Elias to speak to your group.
Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, Hypnosis for Health, Overcoming Fear, Relationship, self esteem, transpersonal hypnotherapy, Uncategorized, Zen Buddhism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More About “What DO Thoughts Think About?”

I want to share some additional perspectives aboutANXIETY, PTSD my previous blog, “What DO Thoughts Think About?”

“Thoughts think about other thoughts” is a subtle topic; it’s importance can easily be missed, and working with it can seem boring and pointless in the beginning.

In order to experience the power of this insight, the first step to is to practice noticing and watching thinking, emotions and sensations, as they are, without any motivation to improve, escape from, or stop them.

I recently had an old client share that years after I had shared this insight and practice with her, suddenly she started remembering that “her” thoughts and emotions were not “hers” — they were just thoughts and emotions. She shared how the insight just started coming up naturally and that it interrupted her involvement in fearful concerns, stress, and melodrama.

She was able to feel a refreshing sense of being present on the earth, on the spot in her body, with an awareness of freedom to move around unobstructed by the thoughts and emotions she was aware of. Instead of entrancing and absorbing her in a claustrophobic inner environment of hallucinations, they were just objects in awareness, surrounded by this refreshing free space.

You can have this experience too! Remember:

1)      “Thoughts can only think about other thoughts.” Relax, breathe, and observe.

2)      Therefore you can only think about THOUGHTS of self, about your IDEA of self. You can’t think about your actual self which is not a thought. Relax, breathe, and observe.

3)      This means the REAL You is off the hook! No blame, no shame — your story is not about you, it is about an IDEA of you. This doesn’t mean you can pretend you didn’t do or say things — activities can be judged and it’s best to be accountable for them. But these actions do not create or define your “personhood”. They just are what they are. Relax, breathe, and observe.

4)      Commentary, subconscious gossip, will come in. Just watch it, too. Here is a tip — discouragement, boredom, and irritation are all thoughts, too. Watch and notice them. Relax, breathe, and observe.

5)      Do this for just 5 minutes a day if that’s all you can manage. Practice develops the strength of your capacity to watch and notice uninterruptedly.This is the secret to experiencing the freedom that you already are. If you can’t manage 5 minutes, relax, breathe, and observe as often as you can remember to, even for just a few seconds. Set your smart phone to remind you every 30 minutes to stop then relax, breathe, and observe for 10-15 seconds. It will work for you!

6)      Give yourself the chance to realize that any dilemma-oriented thinking relating to an IDEA of self does not prohibit your right to relax into a kind, encouraging self-regard and self-respect.

7)      The more kindness and self-respect you have, the more fearlessly you are accountable for your actions. This kindness, respect, and fearless accountability makes it easy to welcome and respect others and to enjoy collaborating with them at work, at play, and in intimate relationship.

To summarize:

  • Have enough compassion and kindness towards yourself to practice mastering the deluding power of fearful thinking on a daily basis.
  • Value life, value yourself as life itself, not as the smallness you think you are.
  • Increase and express this valuing by developing your ability and strength to watch thinking without being ruled or defined by thinking.
  • Practice releasing every form of self attack and self put down as you now realize they are all false — just thoughts thinking about other thoughts.
  • Through this simple practice, deepen the felt sense of your already free and complete being as you release yourself from the power of deluded thinking. Feel life flowing through you as you.

As always, sharing and questions are welcome!

Email: jack@FindingTrueMagic.com. Good luck!

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Addictions & Compulsions, Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Dating, Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, exploring consciousness, Hypnosis for Health, learning, Medical Hypnosis, Overcoming Fear, Pain Relief, PTSD, Relationship, self esteem, transpersonal hypnotherapy, Zen Buddhism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Do Thoughts Think About?

FTM_depression CROPWant to make someone pause? Ask them, “What do thoughts think about?” Ask yourself.

Try to think about something that is not a thought — if you can, let me know! Why is this important? Well, most significantly it means you cannot think about yourself! You can only think about thoughts about your IDEA of self. This means the REAL You is off the hook! No blame, no shame — your story is not about you, it is about an idea of you.  Thoughts can only think about other thoughts!

A common response, “But who is the real me then?” You cannot answer this with thought — that would just be thoughts thinking about thoughts, but you can experience yourself beyond all thinking, beyond all description and story. This is the experience of freedom and spontaneity. This is the experience of being Awake (from the thought/trance of self).

This is not an unusual experience — it happens when we lose our self in a laugh or sneeze; it happens with a surprise like a trip or slap in the face. But this moment beyond the mind, when thoughts are stopped, is so brief that we miss it.

The question I repeatedly contemplate is, “How can I use this in my therapy practice and in my life?” I am familiar with this insight and how to practice with it but I still have to practice and re-remind myself that thoughts are thinking about other thoughts and that I am not a thought – not who I think I am. The problem is that I get involved with thoughts with my body mind and emotions — know what I mean? Go through this with me:

  • The first step is to practice noticing and watching thinking, as it is, without any motivation to improve it, escape from it, or stop it — just to practice the skill of watching and noticing, without commentary. You also watch emotional feelings and bodily sensations and other sensory information You notice and watch how quickly sense data gives rise to thinking and to thinking centered on the IDEA of self.
  • Now, commentary will come in. Just watch it, too. This is the tricky part because we are so conditioned to listen to thoughts and to be lead around by them, that we forget watching and noticing every few seconds as a thought hypnotizes us into being the idea of self versus watching the ideas of self go by like clouds in the sky: “What good is this going to do?” “This is boring?” “Isn’t there a more interesting practice?”"I think I really need to work on myself.”
  • These are all just thought, thought, thought, thought. They are very seductive, no? They will pull you right out of watching into their dramas. If and when that happens, go back to noticing and watching as soon as you notice you are not watching. Here is a tip — discouragement, boredom, and irritation are all thoughts, too. Watch and notice them.
  • Do this for just 5 minutes a day if that’s all you can manage. Practice to develop the strength of your capacity to watch and notice uninterruptedly. This is the secret to experiencing the freedom that we already are.

As always, sharing and questions are welcome!

Email: jack@FindingTrueMagic.com. Good luck!

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Addictions & Compulsions, Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, exploring consciousness, Hypnosis for Health, learning, Overcoming Fear, PTSD, Relationship, self esteem, transpersonal hypnotherapy, Uncategorized, Zen Buddhism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Short & Sweet — Healing Negative Self Talk and Self Hatred

SelfLove

A big part of the transformational process is challenging negative self talk (mean and nasty internal dialogue) again and again to look at and to cut through the roots and causes of self hatred.

I have been struck lately by several clients’ acceptance of negative self talk and judgments – what they describe as self-judgment and self-hatred. Along with this mind state comes the fear of criticism from others, as if it was a fact of nature that they are deserving of just about any negative judgment that comes their way.

We work to recognize, in a living way, that this negative self talk, this judgment of being — this judgment about our value as beings — is not only painful, but also cripples our ability to celebrate life. And this negative voice is always spouting falsehoods. It tells us out-and-out lies!

We can rightly discern the appropriateness of our thinking, speech, and actions, but deficiencies in these areas do not change the value of our being.

Consider the source of judgment of worth — who has the right to attack your worth? No one! What merit gives anyone, including yourself, the right to attack your worth? No merit!

So don’t wait another minute – be done with it! Focus repeatedly on the difference between Being/Worth — which cannot be judged, and activity of thought, speech, and body — which can be evaluated (with respect for Being/Worth) and improved upon.

The solution is short and sweet. Evaluate the nature of this type of judgmental thinking and aggressively and passionately be done with it by seeing what can be judged and what is beyond judgment.

This is the simplest yet most crucial and most challenging distinction for us to make. And most of don’t make it! The key is repeated attention to the distinction, and repeatedly reminding ourselves of the distinction as we recognize ever time wrong-headed thinking tries to hypnotize us.

Thaw the frozen river of Joy within! (How does one melt ice? Constantly focus warmth on it.)

To focus the warmth of self compassion on your own being, listen to one of our most popular audios, Becoming Fearless and Compassionate. Try it for at least 3 days in a row.

Like an Olympic athlete, you can overcome negative self talk and rise to heights of self-confidence you may never have thought were possible.

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Addictions & Compulsions, Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, exploring consciousness, Hypnosis for Health, learning, Overcoming Fear, Pain Relief, Parenting, PTSD, Relationship, self esteem, transpersonal hypnotherapy, Uncategorized, Veterans, War and Peace, Zen Buddhism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

8 Secrets of Successful Dating – Who Hypnotizes Whom?

Children Sharing_SM_vintage_sepiaYou can learn to enjoy yourself pursuing relationships if you know the secrets to relating and then practice them. Beyond making sure you offer a common-sense, clean physical presentation (you should know most people like this), the essential secret is to be yourself.

When you hear this, do you usually start imagining how you would act and speak if you were being yourself? If so, it is probably very frustrating, because imagining acting like yourself is an artificial activity.

The first step is to relax into yourself and appreciate yourself. You will notice a lot of thoughts, a lot of thinking about yourself. Start to pay careful attention to the way you talk to yourself. All language is hypnotic, and you are already a master at self-hypnosis – just an unaware master.

If you have trouble being yourself, you’re not just experiencing an awkwardness about how to speak or act. The awkwardness is a by-product of not allowing yourself to feel what you really feel and to know and pursue what you truly care about. Lack of awareness of these crucial aspects of self-knowledge is maintained by your inner hypnotic self-talk. To gain further awareness, read on . . . .

1. Approach Your Fear

When it comes to approaching and meeting women or men, what is there to fear? Rejection?
That’s half the fun! Seriously!

To be successful in connecting with someone you’re interested in, the first approach to make is to approach yourself. Approach your fear – and your fearful thinking. Fearful thinking literally turns your perceptions and judgments upside down. You think good is bad, front is back, and down is up.

For example, what makes rejection so terrible? Nothing, really. But fear blinds you to this fact. Notice how creative you are at generating vivid internal movies and fearful voiceovers that keep you terrified of the possibility of being rejected.

2. Your Perceptions Don’t Cause Anything

One way you hypnotize yourself is by mistaking perceptions for causes. You perceive through your 6 senses. There are the 5 outer senses, plus the inner mind sense that perceives thinking and emotions. Perceptions are just objects in awareness. They do not do anything and they do not mean anything. If a woman or a man smiles at you or glares at you or walks away from you or laughs at you or hugs you, you simply perceive the behavior. It doesn’t mean anything about you. It just is what it is: a perceived behavior.

Even though you think you’re afraid of someone, you are not afraid of perceptions. You can only be afraid in reaction to meaning. And perceptions have no inherent meaning about you. What you think about a perception gives it its fearful meaning. That meaning can affect your emotional state . . . but only according to how firmly you choose to believe in the meaning you have created.

You create the meaning and then you react to it.

The good news is that you, therefore, are in total control of the production of your fear and as well as the annihilation of your fear. Your belief in your thinking is the cause of your emotional state. The perceived object is not the cause.

Whether a woman or man smiles or frowns at you, you can keep your self respect, as long as you don’t play the inner game with yourself. As long as you don’t play the self-hypnotic game of convincing yourself, through some inner mental creation, that her response gives or takes away your essential value and your self-respect.

3. You’re in Control (Really)

A common response from clients, when I point this out, is, “It doesn’t feel like I’m in control.”

You don’t feel like you are in control of keeping your balance when you walk or ride a bike either, but you are. It doesn’t feel like it because you have mastered the control and you don’t have to focus conscious attention on the process as you once did when learning.

Through your conscious attention and effort, you taught your body — your unconscious mind — to master the process. So now it’s very difficult for the conscious mind to take back the control. You can prove this to yourself with a simple experiment: Try to intentionally fall over.

It’s going to take some effort to take back control that is located in another “part” of you.
You create meaning by scanning your perceptions and then relating them to past similar perceptions to which you’ve already attached a story, or meaning. You assign to the present situation the same meaning you’ve already attached to a similar situation in your past.

The ability to create such equivalence is a valuable ability. It’s called creating anchored associations. Anchored associations make it easy to recognize general classes of objects such as tables and chairs so you can easily navigate the world.

But this scanning and associating function causes fear and suffering when it highlights superficial similarities and misses significant differences.

If you hear someone speak in a loud angry voice similar to the one your father used when you were a little boy or girl, you may become terrified on the spot, because your mind immediately brings up the memories of witnessing your father’s anger.

To the degree that you are feeling afraid and small, your mind is giving great value to a superficial similarity — the angry voice. At the same time, your mind is completely overlooking significant differences, such as the fact that you are all grown up now, that it is 20 or 30 years later, that this is not your father who’s speaking to you, and that you are not in the living room of the home where you and your father lived when you were a little girl or boy.

4. Maintain Your Adult Perspective

I define ‘Adult’ as any person who has a functioning, moment by moment, self-validating awareness. In the example above, the consciousness in the grown-up body is not self-validating. Fear is present because the “person” in the body has instantly regressed to the perspective of a naïve child standing in the presence of a seemingly all-powerful, mysterious god-like being.

(As a small child, you instinctively sensed your parents had the power of life or death for you – that is the definition of a god.)

It makes sense for a child to be afraid in this scenario, but it doesn’t make sense for an adult to be afraid.

Self-validating function has many important aspects:

  •  It accurately labels fearful emotions as being childlike states of mind
  •  It holds these childlike states as objects in awareness, not as self
  •  It holds present time awareness of self-identity and stays connected to all the accumulated wisdom of having lived many years into “adulthood”
  •  It appreciates it has the power to take care of oneself.
  •  It understands the naïve and gullible mind of the child and its lack of power
  •  It nurtures the child state as if being sought out by a child needing protection — instead of disappearing into the child state
  •  It responds appropriately to present time perceptions without projecting the “reality” of the child’s situation and emotionality on to the present time situation.

Reconsider feeling afraid about approaching someone you’d like to meet and get to know, in the light of these points. To feel afraid you would have to assume that the person’s behaviors and presumed judgments have tremendous power over you. You would have to make that person’s responses and possible value judgments the source of your validation in the world.

Do you see that this is an anchored reaction issuing from the perspective of a small child? That it’s an instant hypnotic induction into “small child trance”? The mere perception of a female or male body that attracts you, triggers the mind into lightning-fast associations with child-parent dynamics full of hope for love and validation, as well as a mortal fear of losing the parent.

If at that moment you are not in a self-validating state of awareness, then the childlike state, the hypnotic induction, takes over, intensely desires support, and becomes even more desperate if support is withheld (“I can’t take care of myself!”).

When you approach others, not just potential partners, keep in mind that childlike states are powerfully anchored and that fearful ones get triggered very easily in most people. This happens in response to our perceptions of essentially harmless behaviors, like seeing a frown on someone’s face. In my book, Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP, I have coined a term for these states: “Chronically Regressed Trance States of Identity.”

5. Create Powerful, Positive, Present Time Anchors

What is the antidote to Chronically Regressed States? Think of several different memories of times when you were at your best in various ways — when you felt very relaxed, very joyful, very witty, very curious, very alert, and very generous. As completely as you can, relive each memory until that good quality comes alive in you. Then anchor that quality by pressing your thumb and forefinger together (or by creating some other simple physical anchor of your choice). Rehearse this several times with each memory until the feeling comes back automatically when you press your fingers together (or use the anchor you created).

Follow this process with several of these qualities using the same anchor each time so that you stack the anchor with positive associations. In other words, so that when you press your fingers together, all the qualities come alive in you.

This stacked anchor will enable you to quickly feel interested, alert, at ease, joyful, witty, and generous. Now imagine a future movie with you approaching and talking to a woman or man you’re interested in getting to know. Trigger the anchor and experience yourself maintaining these qualities of your self-validating state regardless of her responses.

If this person “rejects” you, that indicates something about them, or about their response to the way you interacted, but it doesn’t mean anything about you, about your value, or about your ability to stay cheerful and approach someone else. First, you may cheerfully analyze your behavior and verbal communication to determine if you communicated your real intentions — just to improve upon your ability to do so. But it is an enjoyable learning process, not a life-threatening drama. And thus the delightful adventure continues!

6. Understand the Trance of Rejection

A word about rejection, while we’re on the subject. People do not reject each other. People reject behaviors based on meanings they’ve assigned to those behaviors, based on past experience they’ve had with similar behaviors.

People’s rejection of a behavior can be accurate in present time, like saying “No” to an unwanted magazine solicitation. The problem comes when people reject behaviors that have triggered chronically regressed states — states in which they experience fear and suffering.

When people behave negatively toward each other, they are not seeing each other. They are seeing projections from their chronically regressed states. When this happens, there is no real contact in present time between self-aware, self-validating adults. It’s two regressed states in a sparring match.

When you truly see another person, you recognize they are meeting the same challenge that you are meeting — the challenge of the human experience. A natural respectand even love arises from this awareness, and then collaboration is easy and enjoyable.

If you feel fear and then believe the “reality” created by fearful beliefs, you are being ruled by a chronically regressed trance state of identity. These trance delusions become very convincing and rapidly more intense when people get swept away in reactivity. In this way we reinforce each other’s fearful regressed child states.

7. You’re Relating, not Performing

Trying to perform in order to gain acceptance is an expression of fear.

You may know other men and women who seemingly find it easy to approach and connect with potential partners, and yet their lives have featured a series of short-term or broken relationships. This is a sign that the real person is not truly relating. It is a sign of a man or woman living in a child state, someone who is skilled at seeking out and “connecting” with others who are living in complementary child states. So don’t be too quick to pick dating role models based on another’s seeming courage about approaching people.

As a self-validating adult, you are at ease in your body and being. You allow thoughts and feelings to enter into your awareness without fearful monitoring. As a self-validating adult, you do not perform. Instead, you relate — an activity of generous, honest sharing of your ideas and authentic feelings, without concern about being judged. Remember: as a real adult, you know what you value and feel and you are unafraid to share. When you relate, you are in an adult state.

As an adult, you have the clarity to understand that people only judge their own projections, their own fearful fantasies. You understand that you’re never the target of judgment or rejection unless you pretend to be the projection (performing) instead of just being yourself (relating).

8. Approach Yourself First

The anchoring exercise outlined above can be a very quick and powerful way to change your state and behaviors in a given situation — to bring yourself back into a self-validating state. You will make the anchoring process much more lasting and dynamic if you resolve to approach and accept yourself.

It is crucial to realize that your primary relationship is with yourself. You are never alone. Thinking that you are alone is a deluded hypnotic suggestion. You are always with yourself! If you do the introspective, compassionate work of becoming your own best friend — transforming your inner self-talk to be a constant stream of honest, constructive evaluation, encouragement, and support — you will live a life free of fear. You will recognize the organic rush of energy you feel when approaching a potential partner as a sign of being alive. And you will appreciate the rare intensity of being alive! You will refrain from channeling that rush of vivid aliveness into enervating fearful thoughts of humiliation and abandonment, or into the struggle to possess someone.

You can see that relating to a woman or a man is a dance of exploration. The possibility of “rejection” truly is half the fun of approaching them.

To help you quickly achieve strength, clarity, and success in every area of your life, consider purchasing one or more of my survival kits: The Dating Survival Kit, The Sexual Survival Kit, and The Relationship Survival Kit. Good luck!

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1067849
Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Dating, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, exploring consciousness, Hypnosis for Health, learning, Overcoming Fear, Relationship, self esteem, transpersonal hypnotherapy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment