ARE YOU ON A MENTAL~EMOTIONAL MERRY-GO-ROUND? (Part 1.)
I hope you enjoyed the blog yesterday. The Dream-Weaver lives in each of us and understanding how to benefit from our dreams and learn to use dreaming as a tool of self-exploration can be very helpful.
Speaking of dreams, take a moment to check out our new shared website where Jade Johnson, one of the top Olympic Long Jumpers in the world and her CHEK Practitioner/Coach Warren Williams and I are sharing her journey to her third Olympics.
Jade had a series of serious career setbacks and was facing career ending injuries!until!she found Warren Williams. Warren and Jade asked me for help getting her ready for the Olympics and I thought what a great way to share the life of an elite athlete with the world.
Most people have no idea how challenging elite athletics is, both personally and professionally, so now they can get an insider’s view. Jade is an absolutely amazing woman too. Wait until you see this woman’s body! She’s only paralleled by Tarzan! She is..a Jade Dragon!
If you like the web site and would like to follow Jade as she prepares for the 2012 Olympics in London, please share your thanks and comments by leaving them on the website.
Daryl, our techno pro here at the institute is a techno genius. He and has really helped the institute in many ways, including this project for which we are extremely grateful. Jade, Warren, Vidya and I were certainly impressed with his design.
I had a very busy day yesterday, and not necessarily a day without chances to manage my own mental~emotional state!
As anyone becomes more recognized as this or that by people, there is an innate human tendency to disable, deface, defame or resist the potential changes the change-makers offer. Sadly, I’ve found that people’s own lack of rationality leads to criticism and/or all out attack on others before they’ve typically done ANYTHING to gather adequate facts to make an intelligent decision.
If you’ve ever read comments by people on blog sites where I’ve been interviewed, you will know exactly what I mean!
As challenging as this may be for me, or for you (we all experience this plenty in our lives), it is an opportunity to grow and cultivate empathy for those in pain that “ready, aim, FIRE” it their typical approach!
As much as I understand the etiology of such mental-emotional turmoil, it still doesn’t seem to make it easier to deal with, particularly when you have a rational mind. I’m still learning a LOT every day!
I had a good workout yesterday though, so that was lovely. I did some cluster-training (working without a set rest period and doing as many sets with a heavy weight as possible in a given time period), coupling deadlifts (325 off a step box x 4-10), unilateral barbell rows with the deadlift bar (x 4-6 ea.), followed by reptilian crawling. I did four circuits of this and it was perfect for stimulating my anabolic hormones. This is quite important once you get beyond about age 45 if you don’t want to watch your abs and butt melt before you eyes!
Having lived through what seems like a perpetual storm of emotion and irrationality since my childhood, and experiencing how much work I’ve had to do to calm myself, I thought sharing my understanding of this issue and some possible solutions with you today.
ARE YOU ON A MENTAL~EMOTIONAL MERRY-GO-ROUND?
In this blog series, it is my intention to share my own personal life experiences and clinical experiences with regard to the origin of emotional~mental instability.
As with all my blogs, the majority of my writings come from my own personal experiences and observations. I’m not attempting to write academic papers, which are typically heavily referenced where I site references. My goal is to share my views that are supported by others or other researchers, or to make readers aware of useful resources that may benefit them.
This blog series will explain the nature of how childhood programming sets the stage for our emotional~mental disposition for the rest of our lives; unless we become aware enough to embrace our own challenges and take actions to improve ourselves.
I will do my best to use diagrams and simple analogies and life situations to make a potentially complex topic understandable to the majority of readers. I will offer simple exercises anyone who is authentically interested in participating in their own healing can do.
I would encourage all my blog readers to be very aware that one of the ego’s most dangerous illusions is creating the impression that just because you read something, it is “known”, or is “knowledge”. What we read, see, or hear from external sources is only information. It is never true knowledge until it is applied, experienced and assessed with respect to one’s own life.
What emerges from authentic interaction with information can then be considered actual knowledge. Remember, coffee shops are full of book-experts who can recite passages from a barrage of science, religion, philosophy, physiology and related texts, but upon observation, there is generally little evidence that such coffee table expertise is authenticated as living experience.
My dream is that those of you following my blog take advantage of any potential chance to learn, grow and heal. Sadly, many post, or send me arguments against what I’m sharing, yet it is clearly evident by their arguments alone, that they have no authentic experience with the information they’ve now deemed themselves “experts” on.
Remember, any parrot can site references, yet the parrot has no idea as to the validity of the references. Most sited contradictions to my offerings, whatever they may be turn out to be studies that are either poorly, or completely ineffectively designed.
That said, I deeply enjoy dialogue from people who’s opinions are based on life experience and as most of you know, I do my best to address such people in the comments section of each blog. That said, let’s see what’s in store today!
Body As Basis Of Mind
All of us, even enlightened Masters, have emotional highs and lows and periods where are thoughts seem to lead us in directions we’d prefer not go in. We all have bodies that communicate our bodily needs to our minds. If we don’t have a healthy relationship with our bodies, we are typically unable to hear the requests from the body.
If the body can’t communicate with the ego-mind as a means of meeting it’s needs, it turns up the volume.
When the body turns up the volume, the emotional intensity reflects the urgency of any specific needs of your glands, organs or body parts. There are no extras in the human body – no non-essentials. At the point at which any part of your body is unable to maintain, or contribute to homeostasis, the intensity of the messages are strong enough that they can easily be misinterpreted as fear, anger, insecurity, desperation, and anxiety, to name a few.
If living out of tune with one’s body reaches the point of becoming a habit, the communications from the body no longer have healthy psychophysical pathways to convey communication in the body-mind. In such a state, the flow of energy becomes like water flowing down hill, taking the path of least resistance.
To the degree that one suffers from negative or fear-based thinking, the path of least resistance is through the very neural circuits that have most direct access to the ego-mind.
Now, hunger can turn into nervousness. Thirst can turn into hunger or a sense of emptiness, often resulting in people trying to satiate their thirst drive with incessant talking or gossiping. The urge to defecate and alleviate the toxic load in the body can end up being expressed as chronic complaining.
These are just a few simple, common examples; any combination or variation on the theme is possible.
Having spent my entire career working with people that came with disorders and diseases, I’ve been able to witness the changes in their emotional~mental disposition as they healed. In many cases, I did no specific emotional or mental coaching. I focused on restoring the function of their biology and their relationship with their body.
As the body achieved harmony, harmony was reflected in the rest of the emotional~mental construct to the degree that their emotional~mental challenges emanated from disturbances in their biological mind or soul.
How we care for our bodies, in most instances, is an expression of our ego-state. The intellectual ego is referred to as an idea-set by experts in memetics (the science of language structure and perceived values). Bodily conditions aside, in order to understand the nature of the roller coaster of emotional-mental states, we must revisit the nature of how the ego-mind develops so I can share a few tips that may be useful to you.
MIND OVER MATTER, or MIND ATTACHED TO THE MATER?
In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu offers the following insight:
To observe the appearance
The whole world can see the beautiful as the beautiful
only because of the ugly.
The whole world can recognize the good as good
only because of the bad.
Something and nothing create each other.
The difficult and the easy complement each other.
The long and the short define each other.
The high and the low counterbalance each other.
Before and after follow each other.
Therefore the sage acts without action,
teaches without words.
The myriad of creatures keep on going without an end,
creating life without possessing it,
performing deeds without expectations,
fulfilling the mission without claiming a victory,
because the sage does not ask for praise,
therefore the praise remains with him forever.
I suspect you’ve all experienced riding a merry-go-round. If you have, then you are aware that the faster it spins, the more centrifugal force there is pulling you outward as you move toward the outer edge of the merry-go-round. If it gets gong fast enough, it can literally make you fly as you see here in my photo.
If there were three of you on the merry-go-round and it was moving fast enough to make the person on the outside fly like you see here, the person in the middle (between the outer edge and center post) would still have to hang on pretty tight, but less so. The person in the center would experience very little centrifugal force. From the center, the hub of the action, that person could easily hold a camera, watch and comment on the events taking place progressively outward where the centrifugal force gets progressively greater.
In Lau Tzu’s passage above, the sage is the one in the center, and is a sage only because s/he is in the center of life’s ceaseless follies; they “witness” without becoming entangled. Even after years of practice, I can assure you that the life of a sage can’t be faked.
Staying centered in any storm takes authentic conscious awareness and commitment to harmony as one’s driving motive.
In this diagram, I’m using the tai-chi symbol as a means of expressing polarity differential within the concept of the merry-go-round in hopes that the concepts I’m presenting may be more logical and understandable to you. As we go through this diagram, keep our above conversation about centrifugal force in mind as a contextual framework.
In the center of my diagram, you see a green zone with a sun in the center. The green zone represents functional balance, or what is medically referred to as homeostasis.
The sun represents the enlightened state of no-mind, or attached nonattachment; loving and caring without coercing through the means of sex and violence or conditional loving.
If a child were born to enlightened parents (like the poet Rumi for example), they are far more likely to exemplify enlightenment as the product of their parental upbringing that someone without enlightened parents.
Regardless of how you were parented, homeostasis is homeostasis! If your current mode of self-perception and self-expression results in inner and outer turmoil in your life, you must choose to do the healing work necessary to learn how to cultivate and maintain emotional~mental balance or it will never occur in your life.
The image to the right of center of the tai-chi symbol shows a boy kissing a dolphin with the support of a dolphin trainer. This image exemplifies the dolphin and the embodiment of the childlike mind, which is the equal of the enlightened state.
One who has had this kind of upbringing, or chooses to participate in their own healing with a coach that has dolphin qualities to share can learn to see, experience and participate in life as a dolphin.
The key point that I hope you are grasping here is that the child with dolphin parents learns to see and experience the world through the eyes of a dolphin; if the child’s parents were tiger-like, they would be highly likely to be much more polarized, which would increase polarity. Their position would be more lateral on the diagram, putting them in the yellow or red zone depending on the degree of aggression in the parental tigers.
The dolphin-like parents would have adequate emotional stability that a minor disturbance of display of emotional imbalance as viewed by society at large, would be felt and perceived through the sensitivity of a dolphin-mind.
Such socially minor disruptions and displays would, in general, constitute major disruptions for the dolphin-mind. As such, their reaction and interest in finding their own center occurs much more readily than those raised in more polarized environments.
To exemplify this point, someone like myself that has done the work to regain health homeostasis feels minor disruptions in diet, lifestyle, and emotions with a much greater degree of sensitivity and accuracy (they have less shadow blocking their perception), and therefore, naturally responds with corrective actions much sooner and with greater efficiency. That becomes their normal state of being; they are capable of forgiving and forgetting with greater ease.
Into The Yellow Zone
The yellow zone represents a zone of magnitude of mental-emotional turmoil of approximately 1/3 greater magnitude than the zone of homeostasis represented in green. Any departure from green exemplifies a greater range of perceived and/or actual stress. Parents in this zone could be loosely considered 50/50 parents in that the child has a 50/50 chance of coming home from school to find a parent or parents that are adequately self-managed such that they can create a safe haven for the growing and developing body-mind.
Imagine, if you were in a relationship with someone whom you thought you loved, and who you thought loved you. If 50% of your interactions with them were painful and created separation and the other 50% were peaceful, joyous and fostered connection, could you ever truly feel safe that you were coming home to “the person that loves you? Not likely. Parents in the green zone are a safe enough bet that the child can relax their ego-self because they don’t need to heighten their defense mechanism.
They don’t need to practice lying, cheating, being sneaky, or learning avoidance tactics to survive their parents.
Once a child’s environment becomes yellow, in essence, the environment in the home and family is akin to the environment of an intersection when the light is “yellow”; yellow literally means, “proceed with caution!”
For some, it means, go like hell and worry about it later. That formula applied in relationships often leaves corpses behind such people that they only come to realize they’ve participated in creating, later. This leads to confusion and often excites the shadow body, which manifests as manipulating others to try and feel safe or loved because such a person is often unaware of what happened in the metaphorical intersection (relationship); they don’t tend to use their rearview mirror when they have their gas pedal floored!
People that are taught to live green, don’t need to avoid the rearview mirror because they aren’t in such a rush that they can’t enjoy looking around themselves. Naturally, anyone who’s yellow as I’ve described it here will have a far easier time getting back to green than someone who’s in the red zone.
Into The Red Zone!
Once you enter the red zone, you are on the outer edge of the merry-go-round of life and the centrifugal force is such that one innately feels they must hang on with a white knuckle grip. They feel that if they don’t, life will literally fling them off – they may die of loneliness, pain, loss of connection, apathy, indifference, and/or a lack of being “understood” by others in their relationships.
In my experience, the majority of people with chronic illness, including chronic fatigue, addictions and diseases come from families that live in the red zone.
A critical element of the puzzle to understand here is that the zones represent, and reflect:
A. The parent’s individual relationship with themselves, and
B. The environment created by the parent’s relationship with each other.
Some of the circumstances that lead to red-zone parents are:
1. Having their own red-zone parents, which they haven’t yet healed from! Sound common anyone??
2. Having parents that come from religious or philosophical systems that are polarized relative to each other.
For example, some of the most damaged and distraught patients I’ve ever worked with were people who were in, or came from families that were half Jewish or Christian, and half Muslim (Islam). This kind of values conflict among parents and families creates a lot of turmoil and insecurity in children because no matter which way they go, again, they have a 50/50 chance of upsetting someone; greater than 50/50 when you include extended family, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and the like!
3. Being born out of wedlock. When either or both families of the parents have (typically religiously motivated) views that suggest to have sex with or get pregnant by someone you aren’t married to, there is typically tremendous stress for the impending mother and father.
As I’ve highlighted in previous posts, this stress period is usually most polarized during the gestation period, resulting in the neonate’s environment being stressful.
The result, as the current research clearly shows, is the child develops a large hindbrain and a diminished forebrain.
The hindbrain, as Joseph Chilton Pierce points out, is the street fighter’s brain, while the forebrain is the brain that creates novel solutions to problems. Children who gestate in this environment for any reason, actually don’t have the hardware to ever see the world as it is. They don’t have the equipment to see love, only fear!
You can see this in such children because they have a tremendous affinity for violent shows, violent video games, and love the gang and gangster persona. Drive through any affluent neighborhood or the schools in such neighborhoods and you will find mini-gangsters all over the place!
4. Financial stress in the family can create so much stress on the parents, without realizing it, they lack the empathy and compassion to effectively parent their children. It is very common for parents in such situations to project their stress onto their children. I’ve worked with a number of cases where the parents blamed the children for their financial hardship!
5. Parents not mature enough or ready to be parents. In our culture, this is exceedingly common. I’ve identified that the most common cause of people producing unplanned children is desperately seeking the love they need from their parents in others.
The difference is that if a child passes through puberty with this sort of love-deficit, they naturally have a hormonal drive to mix sex with love-getting. These people are essentially children having sex, which requires adult responsibility.
In short order, you have parents that go from loving their child to experiencing the child as a major limitation to their own freedom.
Such children are often blamed for the parent’s lack of freedom and become the parent’s scapegoat(s). Some are simply ignored or baby-sat with TV’s and video games. Others are given money and sent to the shopping mall to occupy themselves in arcades. Some are passed around to relatives and friends repeatedly and never develop a sense of home, nor connection to their biological parents. Some are simply abandoned and/or orphaned.
6. Parents that have children before they actually know who their partner is.
Because of the factors above and others, our culture is such that people often find that they have a love-hate relationship with their lovers. If one or both parents is too insecure to move on and find a more compatible partner before they have children, there is a tendency to create the illusion that having a child will heal the relationship; this is often subconsciously motivated.
Some have children so quickly in the relationship that they begin the process of really getting to know each other after their child is born. In this trial period, there are often significant ups and downs that come largely from values clashes. This up and down rollercoaster ride becomes the child’s programming influence.
Such relationships quickly turn red, leaving a child wounded and often expected to choose sides in parental disputes. When a child is coerced to choose sides between two people it loves, no matter which side they choose, THEY LOOSE!
1. Spend a little time in a quiet spot and write down your experiences and memories of the parental environment and family environment you spent your first 7-12 years in. How much love vs. fear-based behavior was conditioning your environment, and ultimately conditioning you to survive that environment?
2. Write down the coping strategies you can now see that mom and dad used to survive each other. Next, honestly explore your own relationships and see how many of them you now use?
3. Write down what aspects of your own emotional~mental life exemplify that of your parents and family members in general. Then, organize them in priority order so you can begin focusing on, becoming aware of that behavior in yourself.
4. If you are truly ready to heal, write and state aloud a blessing to:
A. Your parents or anyone you feel may have harmed you in your developmental period. Thank them for loving you the best they knew how to with the tools and training they had. Thank them for giving you a start and accept responsibility for creating your own inner environment with the awareness you now have.
B. Bless yourself for anyone you have harmed by living the way you learned to live to survive your environment. Acknowledge that you too were loving the best you could and that now you are ready to become more aware. Ready to witness your emotions and thoughts such that you can preempt any reflexive behaviors before doing more damage and possibly encouraging hindbrain development in any children that may be witnessing your behavior.
C. Bless any witness to the acts that created pain for you and in your relationships. Particularly when children witness such acts, they actually learn that that is normal behavior, and naturally attempt to use it to get what they want. When we bless any witness, we are releasing our bonds of subconscious attachment to them and freeing their spirit and ours to grow and nurture itself.
My suggestion is to do this blessing daily and whenever you feel your own pain-motivated behaviors arising. A blessing is an act of intention and intention is a chief factor in determining outcome in life.
In our next edition of this series, Part 2., I will go deeper into the kind of disruptions that emerge as disposition or personality traits that can be challenging for an individual and people they share relationships with. I will also share some simple healing exercises you can try if you are ready to heal.
Enjoy the process of both blessing and receiving the blessing today.
Love and chi,