Here's a powerful poem by Rob Brezny that is so appropriate to the times we are in right now.
My commentary on this poem is below the video. Click on the video to hear it.
Why I Relate So Much to "Painful Blessings"
When one first hears the term “painful blessings” one may be confused, thinking, “how is this possible that blessings can come from pain?” Is not a blessing something positive?” This is true, but upon examining my life and the lives of some others, I see it is often the case that something considered negative can produce something positive.
I knew a woman who was in two physically abusive relationships. She had the courage to leave these relationships and through counselling and coaching, regained her strength and self-esteem. She now helps other women exit from similar relationships.
I knew a man who after a failed marriage and business ended up on the street addicted to opioids and just about died. With a lot help through municipal social programs and counselling, he was able to recover and go back to college and is now working as an addiction’s counsellor.
These are examples of how a terrible suffering, when overcome, can become a mission in a person’s life. Not only is the suffering a blessing to oneself, but it is also a blessing to others who are experiencing a similar pain. It can turn into a deep calling, which gives meaning and purpose to life that previously lacked these.
The poem also refers to the concept of “waking up” which he suggests is a turnaround in a person’s life, when the person painfully sees the “illusion” of their path and actions in life. They see the stark destructive reality of the way their life actually is and decide to turn things around and move in a positive direction.
He applies this individual phenomenon of “waking-up” to us collectively, suggesting that we are waking up to the painful reality of “the masters of illusion and destruction…and their wars and tortures, their devils and borders, extinctions of species and brand-new diseases…”
When we look to the world it is not very hard to see what he is addressing. We have decades of examples:
- The tobacco industry denying cancer and heart disease caused by cigarette smoking
- The Catholic Church hiding the sexual abuse of young children by celibate priests
- The oil Industry knowing for 20 years its contribution to climate change of the burning of fossil fuels and actively denying it
- The financial industry selling sub-prime mortgages knowing full well they were unsound
- The pharmaceutical companies promoting the use of opiate drugs like oxycontin completely cognizant of their high addictiveness
- The agriculture industry (GMO) promoting the use of glyphosate on GMO plants and hiding their research of its cancer causing effects
- Mining companies burying toxic mercury on or close to indigenous reserves and not disclosing this.
I am sure you can find many other examples of this. It is very clear that we have been lied to for many years by these big organizations and corporations. The poet refers to them as “well-dressed monsters”, in other words individuals or corporations that look respectable but in fact are predatory.
The New Corporations
This aspect of these corporations is being starkly revealed in the New York Times best seller book “Winners Take All” by Anand Giridharadas and the recent documentary called “The New Corporation” that exposes the new strategy of the super-rich to rebrand themselves as good Samaritans, solving the world problems (which they in their business practices have created) all the while secretly accumulating more and more wealth and power.
The bad news is the painful recognition that the rich continue to get richer and the poor get poorer. The reality is the main purpose is of a corporation is to make a profit, even if it means harming others, killing species and harming the planet.
Some may say that we should not be blaming these individuals. Partly the problem may be that we may not understand what blame really is. The dictionary defines blame as: “to assign responsibility for a fault or wrong”. So, using this definition, in the case of sexual abuse by a priest, who is to blame if a priest convinces parents that their daughter should be sent to him for religious education and then he sexually abuses her. Blame in this case, is fully on the priest.
However, if the daughter told her parents what was happening, and they kept sending her to the priest they would be colluding in this deception and they would be partly responsible. So, the difference here is one of awareness.
If a person is told by a pharmaceutical company that an opiate is non-addictive and the company knows it is addictive and the person gets addicted and commits suicide, I would suggest the pharmaceutical company is to be held responsible or blameworthy.
And this is an example of a “Painful Blessing” that has actually occurred, where “key players in the nations opioid industry contributed over 65 million dollars since 1997” to non-profits to advocate the use of opioids even as the toll of addictions to the drug, grew. (Kitchener/Waterloo Record Dec 16, B3)
So, as we venture forth into the new year, there may be more and more painful recognitions that may be hard to see, acknowledging with unbelievable surprise the secretive tactics that certain “philanthro-capitalists” have been engaged in and the extent to which they have inflicted pain on others to accumulate more wealth and power.
The Power to Change the World
The good news according to the poet is that we are waking up to this, seeing beyond the “veil” of illusion and acknowledging that we have the power to change the world.
He suggests that this power, is more than physical, it could be a spiritual power, that is, a universal power of life and love, not based on self-interest like the “well-dressed monsters” but based on freedom, compassion, and justice. This power is even more profound when we embrace the perspective of “Pronoia” which to him means that “life is a conspiracy to liberate you from ignorance”.
In spite of the fact that there has been great suffering, we can use the suffering to wake up to what has caused our pain, gain wisdom and from that wisdom work towards creating the kind of world we want. It is a positive approach, akin to what an elderly friend once told me. “There’s nothing so bad it ain’t good for something”
We are seeing this now in the world with the death of George Floyd stimulating the Black Lives Matter movement, the election of politicians in the US promoting a fair minimum wage and the Green New Deal.
I love this poem because I see some of the pain I have personally experienced is now the source of great wisdom and I now see the concept of “Painful Blessings” occurring in the world.
This may not be the time of Revelations as described in the bible, but it may be the time of the great “Revealing”. Gloria Steinem once said “Know ye the truth and the truth will set you free, but first of all it will really piss you off”.
I see this as the challenge right now.
It is the challenge of being open to investigating and seeing what is really going on in the world, sorting truth from fiction, taking positive optimistic action, and avoiding being too consumed with anger while staying in touch with the love that life has for us and we have for it.
We can turn around and create a brand-new world.
Years ago, in my late 30’s, I worked in commission sales.
It was not in my temperament to be a salesman and consequently I hated my job. I did it only to make money to support my family. After 7 years in the business, I got to the point where every time I tried to make a cold call, the phone felt like a heavy brick. I could hardly pick it up.
For months, in the morning, I could barely get out of bed, feeling trapped. One particularly difficult morning I decided to stay in bed. But instead of wallowing in despair, I decided to investigate the state I was in. I got curious
What was really going on here?
I let myself feel all the emotions of sadness, defeat, and hopelessness, but also tried to isolate what really was going on underneath the state I was in. After about two hours of just sitting in the morass of feeling and asking “What is the truth of this state?”, it suddenly dawned on me that underneath this condition was the thought “I will never get what I want”.
I felt a slight lift in the heaviness when I hit that insight. I got even more curious and asked, “How do I know this thought is always true?”
Then I noticed the obvious.
There I was at the beginning of the day deciding I will never get what I want, and the day was not over yet. This did not make any logical sense.
I noticed two outstanding words “never” and “always”.
These were ultimate words describing a condition that was forever. So, I asked myself, “Is it always true that I will never get what I want?” It immediately became clear that this belief was not forever.
As I looked at my life, I recalled that many times I had worked hard and achieved what I wanted and there were times I did not. The reality was that sometimes I got what I wanted, and sometimes I did not.
With that understanding suddenly I felt a lifting of the heavy state I was in, eclipsed by a new glimpse of optimism. I began to feel I could get what I wanted even though it could take time and I did not know how.
My life changed in that instant.
I decided to take a few clients in my coaching/clearing practice in my spare time, and six months later out of the blue, I was invited to work at a treatment centre and train as an addictions counsellor. It was work that I my soul yearned for.
An Exploration to Try
I tell this story l to inspire folks who feel stuck in a dark place in life. If this is the case for you, here’s a summary of an exploration to try.
- Let yourself feel the state of hopelessness you are in Ask yourself: “What must I believe to experience this?”
- Inquire: “Is this thought always true?” or “Will I never achieve this goal?”
- Look at exceptions to the inevitability of the belief. “Were there times when this belief was not true?” Find some examples.
- Ask yourself “What is actually true?” and replace “never” and “always” in the statement of the belief, with “sometimes” and see how this feels.
- Find a few beliefs that are more realistic. E.g. “Sometimes I fail to get what I want, but when I fail I will learn what didn’t work, and use this awareness to refocus my direction to get what I want”
- When you feel a shift into a more optimistic state, it is a positive indicator that you are moving in the right direction.
Be patient and observe the change occurring in your circumstances. Opportunities you never planned, may come your way. Take advantage of them. In many ways, outer circumstances reflect inner beliefs.
Be You To Fullness
Decades ago, Louise L Hay wrote a best-selling book called, You Can Heal Your Life, on using affirmations to improve your life. She had specific positive statements to relieve almost every mental. emotional and physical condition. Admittedly the book has helped lots of people to take a more positive approach to personal challenges. It has assisted millions of people but its promise for a cure-all panacea has fallen short.
For some these affirmations have worked remarkably well and for others they have not. Why is this?
Conceive - Believe - Achieve
Well here is my take on why sometimes affirmations do not work. Let me refer to one of the first bibles of success psychology Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. He proposes a simple mantra for attainment: “What you can conceive and can believe you can achieve”. In other words, if you have a well-defined goal and are confident you can attain it then you can reach it.
Examining this statement is the key to where our use of affirmations can breakdown. If a person has a clear goal and articulates it in the form of an affirmation, for example “I have a new job in a small wonderful advertising firm where I am fulfilled and financially prosperous by January 2021” and they repeat this over and over again, they have taken the right first step. But then for some reason the opposite happens. They get fired from their old job, must give up their apartment and live with their parents.
The good luck they were hoping for turns to bad. They take the defeat personally and berate themselves concluding there is something wrong with themselves because they could not get the affirmations to work when they read about so many success stories in the book.
What has happened here?
There is a breakdown in the second step. In their hopeless situation of a terrible job, they were affirming a goal they did not consciously believe they could achieve. Their subconscious mind, which responds more to feeling, felt the opposite (I cannot get what I want). As a result, the negative belief is what got enhanced and the situation that was attracted was consistent with the negative subconscious belief.
Lack of belief was the problem.
If that is the case, what is the solution?
There are two solutions to this:
Create an affirmation you can believe in by thinking of an intermediate goal that you know you can accomplish, that moves you towards the larger goal. Then affirm that, for example: “By the end of this week, I have made an appointment with a career counsellor.”
When you have reached that goal, then create another goal for your next step. As you experience success achieving the smaller goals you will develop a belief that you can reach the larger goal. Then you can start affirming the larger goal.
On a file card write this affirmation and fill in the blanks: “I am finding my way to _____________ (insert larger goal) by ____________(date). Say this over and over to yourself several times a day.
This a great affirmation because almost anyone can believe they are finding their way and it can be applied to any goal. It is universal.
Then when situations or people in your life appear to help you or give direction, explore the possibilities. You will find that the path to your goal starts to open up and as a result you will develop more confidence that you can achieve your desires.
I have used this statement many times for many years and it has helped get me through the darkest times of my life. It is an amazingly simple technique and magical in its effectiveness. (The good thing is you don’t need to buy a whole book of affirmations.)
Try these out and see how they work.
This is a basic understanding of how to get affirmations to work.
If you are interested in learning to more effectively apply these techniques come to the ClearMind - PureHeart meditation retreat at the Ecology Retreat Centre.
In addition you will learn powerful meditation skills that will supercharge your ability to create what you want in your life. Sound like a good thing?
Check out the information at: CLEAR/MIND - PURE/HEART
Be you to fullness
In May of 2020, I celebrated my 70th birthday.
It was a puzzling experience. I never knew what I was supposed to be like when I turned 70. When I was in my 20’s I considered a 70-year-old, as an “old foggie” not with it, decrepit and behind the times.
Yet now that I am 70, I probably feel much more aware, worldly, and astute then I was at 20. Oddly, I still feel young inside, in fact not much older than 40 except when I gaze in the mirror and gasp “who the hell is that” thinking that aliens have replaced my body with a wrinkly one with chicken neck, when I had my “beauty sleep”.
But the reality is that turning 70 was a milestone. I am grateful to have arrived here and still be alive, maybe with less hair on my head, but with a lot more sober wisdom.
However, for some my age, I have observed that the milestone is more like a millstone. It is as if the heavy weight of life experience is hanging around their necks, dragging behind as they walk. I see some stooped over weighted-down, with a deep chiseled facial scowl exuding an attitude of cold hard criticalness, angrily holding onto that milestone unable to let it go.
To be honest I even see younger folks in this same state – the state of persistent bitterness about life.
And you know what, I completely understand how this can happen. Life is certainly not easy. It is a darn hard struggle, often full of suffering, pain, disappointment, and trauma. I must confess I too have spent my time in this prison, cursing god for inventing this ridiculous thing called life. It is the biggest who wants it energy drain product around.
So, it is understandable some of us get so bitter.
Why We Become Bitter
I was pondering this condition, the other day in a self-inquiry process (that is part of my Circle of True Friends support group for people that have done my workshops) and an important insight suddenly dawned on me:
“People become bitter when they don’t realize what they have gained from difficult experiences”.
This really hit me as being true but I wasn’t sure, so I thought I’d test this out.
I began to examine some of my tribulations in life, asking myself what I possibly gained from them. I saw that:
- I got involved with a certain individual because I did not follow my intuition and now, I have learned to listen to that still small voice within.
- When I went through that dark night of the soul, I gained the ability to find the strength and resilience in myself. Now that inner strength helps me more easily get through any difficulty in the future.
- I came to hate a sales job so that I could get really clear on what I did not want to do so that when my true calling appeared, I could recognize it.
- When a person hurt me, instead of collapsing, I learned to get up off the ground and say, “no more”. Now I can speak my truth with a solid voice with less fear.
- When I said a hurtful comment to someone and they were hurt, I understood how important it is not to respond in reactivity but to consider my words carefully and compassionately before I speak. I now treat people better (and consequently they treat me better).
Remarkably, when I viewed my suffering asking “what did I gain from this” I noticed a shift.
The bitterness related to those experiences and people dissipated and magically morphed into gratefulness.
As this happened, I was reminded of an insight someone shared on one of my workshops. “Life is like school only we get the test first and then the lesson”. Such a great piece of wisdom.
I do not know about you, but I think when we experience pain and do not see the lesson that is when we get bitter. The pain lingers in experience and the experience is not complete until we recognize the gain from the pain.
When we do, an integration occurs: that which we feel has brought us down paradoxically, lifts us up. We become wiser and improve our ability to live in life. We find meaning in our hardships.
Neat stuff eh? Who was it again that invented this thing called life?
So, I guess the next time I look in the mirror, feeling a bit bitter about whoever/whatever, I am going to thank every one of those wrinkles that have come from my suffering, for the gifts they have given me. I will take off that millstone to grind up the sharp stones on my path into some nice smooth sand.
Be you to fullness
I had a dream where I pretended to be
Mr Potato Head with all his accessories.
I was given in happiness to a family
But joy soon turned to tragedy.
Their mischievous children just played with my face
Leaving my features all over the place.
I just wanted to look pleasant but that didn’t work
Cause they were only laughing when I looked like a jerk.
I kept changing myself so I could be accepted
But no matter what I did, I wasn’t respected.
So it got to the point where there was nothing else
But to try to get back to being myself.
And it occurred to me that the self that I sought
Could only be found by letting go of what I’m not.
So I took off my feet and I couldn’t walk
Took off my mouth and I couldn't talk
Took off my ears and I couldn't hear
Took off my eyebrows and I couldn’t lear
Took off my nose and I couldn’t breathe
Took off my moustache and I couldn’t sneeze
Took off my eyes and I couldn’t view
Took off my arms and I couldn’t do
Took off my legs and I couldn’t kneel
And when I let go of my torso, suddenly... I felt more real.
I was surprised at myself that I was still there
With all of my parts strewn everywhere.
So I asked myself. “Now who am I?”
And out of the blue came a simple reply:
“The one I’m asking for, is the askee.
That one that is left, is just me being me!
And I jumped up and down full of glee,
Free of being anyone particularly
With the great mystery
Years ago I had a friend who used to say to me, whenever I complained about a difficulty in my life, “There’s nothing so bad it ain’t good for somethin”.
Apparently his grandfather used to say this to him. Whenever my friend would say this to me I could almost hear and visualize his grandfather with an old scraggly beard and a wrinkled face saying this with a crusty, cracking voice. Perhaps this is why the saying has been memorable.
So here we are in March 2020, in a global pandemic crisis. We don’t want to be in it and it’s bad. But is there anything in this, that is good for something? Is there something positive in this? Could this crisis be an opportunity... a tipping-point or a new growth that can happen in our lives or even globally?
I think this is a good question and there are a lot of good answers, that many people are coming up with. I’d like to suggest one.
I think it’s an opportunity for each one of us personally, to take control of our health.
If we look at our health care system, it’s easy to observe that it is a health system based on health crisis. Many people have a heart attack and go to the hospital for an operation, to replace an artery and then go back to leading the same life as before. Some people get depressed and are given an anti-depressant drug with very little examination of the situation in life that is causing the sadness. It is a system of providing relief rather than resolution. We are trained to look outside ourselves for the solution.
I sick…you fix.
Look what is happening even now. There is a global epidemic and who are we focusing on to solve it: the pharmaceutical companies.
We are quite rightly asked to isolate ourselves from others to reduce the spread of the virus. This may be a solution. Until when…maybe, until the drug companies come up with a vaccine? And of course they don’t mind this…they will make billions on this.
But it’s the same old paradigm. I sick… you fix. There is one thing that is missing in this whole crisis.
We have heard very little about what each one of us can do personally, to improve our immunity so that we can not only resist this virus but as a consequence, avoid passing it on to others.
Perhaps this crisis is an opportunity, to start taking more responsibility to get healthier and improve our immune system? We don’t have live in the old paradigm.
Here’s something to consider to get free from that trap. For decades the efficiency of Vitamin C as an anti-viral, through research by Linus Pauling has been widely known. If you want some verification of this check out:
If your are wanting to do more research on the subject of enhancing your immunity go to:
Here’s some recommendations they suggest, backed-up by research, from their website:
“The physicians of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service and the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine urge a nutrient-based method to prevent or minimize symptoms for future viral infection. The following inexpensive supplemental levels are recommended for adults; for children reduce these in proportion to body weight:
- Vitamin C: 3,000 milligrams (or more) daily, in divided doses.
- Vitamin D3: 2,000 International Units daily. (Start with 5,000 IU/day for two weeks, then reduce to 2,000)
- Magnesium: 400 mg daily (in citrate, malate, chelate, or chloride form)
- Zinc: 20 mg daily Selenium: 100 mcg (micrograms) daily
(Vitamin C , Vitamin D , magnesium , zinc, and selenium have been shown to strengthen the immune system against viruses.)
The basis for using high doses of vitamin C to prevent and combat virus-caused illness may be traced back to vitamin C's early success against polio, first reported in the late 1940s. Many people are unaware, even surprised, to learn this. Further clinical evidence built up over the decades, leading to an anti-virus protocol published in 1980.
It is important to remember that preventing and treating respiratory infections with large amounts of vitamin C is well established. Those who believe that vitamin C generally has merit, but massive doses are ineffective or somehow harmful, will do well to read the original papers for themselves.
To dismiss the work of these doctors simply because they had success so long ago sidesteps a more important question: Why has the benefit of their clinical experience not been presented to the public by responsible governmental authorities, especially in the face of a viral pandemic?”
You also might want to check out this blog by Toronto physician: Dr Clifford-Jones MD: on the effectiveness of Vitamin C:
Now I am not a medical doctor giving you a recommendation. What I am suggesting is that here’s an opportunity in this crisis, once again, to become our own gurus and discover what is true for ourselves.
Check this out and decide for yourself.
There’s nothing so bad it ain’t good for somethin’.
Blessings to you
Congratulations on enrolling in the Problem Resolver Toolkit Course!
I will be presenting you with 6 different strategies for tapping into your inner knowingness and intuition so that you can understand what is really going on in your life and develop solutions.
Many people tend to take action on a problem before they fully know what is going on i.e. before a full analysis and as a result end up making the problem worse. With this course you will learn how to get to the deeper understanding of some of your challenges in life. Hopefully you will see that the solution to a problem often lies within the problem and the solution surfaces as a result of a full exploration and an experiencing of what you are facing. Sometimes even just understanding the problem solves it.
These techniques will successfully help you:
- Take apart any problem so that you can clearly see what the heck’s going on.
- Shave the ragged edge off any frustration that often “supercharges” your confusion with too much emotion.
- Develop your intuition so that you will have a “body-sense” of the right decision to make in any situation.
- Open up to “divine” inspiration from the “U-n-I verse” outside your conception of limited possibilities.
- Learn how to accept situations that go “against your grain” and find the wisdom within them.
- Learn how to almost instantly resolve a problem with a simple shift in perspective
- Take any problem and turn into a project.
- Get yourself out of the way so the solution can appear spontaneously.
It is recommended that you study and practice one technique a week.
Some of the techniques build on the one that you learned in the week before so it is important that you take the time to learn and practice them. Each of these should take about 15-20 minutes to learn and the same amount of time to repeat. To get the best out of the course I’d recommend scheduling in 20 minutes the same time each day to do that week’s technique.
At the end of the six weeks you can choose the techniques that worked best for you to use anytime in your life.
I’d be very interested in getting your feedback on these methods.
Problem-Resolver Technique 1
Soul Speak – Week 1
A good friend of mine, Jan MacDonald often asks this question in her Dynamind Seminar:
“What's the one thing that makes all the difference to everything else in your life?”
I love this question.
It puts things into perspective.
I don't know about you but for me it’s... knowing the Truth.
When you know the truth about gravity you won’t jump over a cliff and get killed.
When you know the truth about stoplights you will avoid going through red lights and getting hit by an oncoming car.
So the first place to start in solving any problem is to know what is true, what the real issue is.
Here is a way to find this.
- On the top of a blank page write this sentence:” What is really true about me is..." or if you are dealing with a specific issue write, “The truth of the issue of … (write in the issue) is…."
- Take a moment and establish your self in the space of “I am willing to let the truth be revealed whether it is acceptable to me or not”
- Complete the sentence in step one, writing for 5-10 minutes non-stop without lifting your pen from the page. Ignore spelling, punctuation, word and line spacing.
- Don't think. Just let everything flow out of your mind and onto the page. Do not pause in your writing..
- If you get stuck write, "I'm stuck". If you go blank write "I'm blank" as many times as it takes to get the flow going again. If you get emotional, write down the emotions. If you need to write big words on the page go ahead and write them.
- At the end of 5-10 minutes, read over what you have written and underline anything that strikes you as significant.
- At the bottom of the page, write down the lines that seemed most important.
This exercise will help you go beyond the intellectual mind that tries to find a rational explanation and will allow the real issue to emerge. It will also release some of the emotional component so that you can view the problem more calmly. If an issue or explanation surfaces that you want to explore further then insert this new issue into top line: “the truth of the issue of…” and do the exercise again or wait until the next day to do the exercise.
Do this exercise for 15-20 minutes each day and see what happens.
Here’s a variation that you can try on the Soul-Speak technique this week.
Instead of writing non-stop after the sentence; “The Truth of the issue is….” Try just speaking out loud non-stop. Continue speaking and saying whatever comes to mind just as you would with the writing.
Some people find this is more freeing and more revealing.
This option is particularly good if there is an emotional charge to the issue you are dealing with. This can release it so that the reality under the issue can be seen.
When you are finished speaking write down a summary of what the crucial aspect of the issue was that was revealed to you.
One obvious proviso is this: do this in an area where you cannot be overheard. You do not want the mental health enforcement officers to take you away.
Problem-Resolver Tool # 2
The Accordion Technique - Week 2
There’s an old saying that “there are two things in life that you can be certain of: death and taxes.” There is however another thing we can be sure of and that is having problems.
We are going to have problems that irritate us and no matter what we do they are a part of life. Everyone has them and as much as we tend to put out the impression that we’ve got life together and we don’t have problems…we all have them. Guaranteed.
If we all have problems then it seems obvious that we should learn methods of solving them. There are certainly lots of methods that we have learned of solving problems in school such as mathematical problems, mechanical problems, organizational problems, etc but we have not been educated to solve personal problems.
This is part of the problem we have with problems. We often avoid them because we don’t know how to solve them, thinking that the avoidance of them will make them go away. But they don’t go away and they often get worse as we resist them. So in this discourse you are going to learn another method of how to solve problems.
Let’s start off examining why problems exist.
Problems are the result of a non-understanding or a misunderstanding about something in yourself or something between you and another individual and a perceived lack of ability in yourself to engage in the action to solve the problem.
For example, you may have a problem completing projects that you start. You begin with a lot of excitement and then the energy fades and you don’t understand why this happens. Other people depend on you to get things done and then get angry at you and they think you are doing this deliberately to sabotage them and you aren’t talking to them.
So in this situation something is going on inside of you that you don’t understand, others also do not understand and you feel you don’t have the ability to talk to them about it. So you’ve got a big problem.
The main thing that keeps it all in place is non-understanding.
There are aspects of the problem that you don’t comprehend and as a result they are hidden so you don’t have sufficient information to make a decision on what to do. In addition parts of the problem may be hooked up to other elements in the mind that should not be hooked up. Everything is all balled up together in tight knots …one thing tied to another…another knot entwined with something else so that you cannot see all the elements separately. You may have the idea of money tied up with greed or the idea of telling the truth with hurting others.
So if you try to solve the problem or work on a solution without being fully aware of all the aspects of the difficulty you can get into greater difficulty by trying to impose a solution that only works temporarily until the unknown parts of the problem re-engage and then drag you down again.
So to effectively solve a problem you should hold off on trying to solve the problem right away and instead spend a lot of time trying to understand all aspects of it. One might call this a diagnosis, or an examination or an assessment.
The Accordion Technique
This technique is similar to Soul Speak but adds in another step. And now that you have done Soul Speak you can do the added step. The essence of the technique is to expand the problem and then contract it several times: explain everything about the problem and then summarize it doing this several times. After about the third or fourth summary the problem will be defined so well and understood that it may turn from a problem into a project and you will be able to develop some clear steps to solve it.
Here are the steps:
- Face the problem. It won’t go away if you don’t face it.
- The next step is to then totally express every aspect of the dilemma. Write down for yourself (you don’t have to write non-stop here, you can pause in your writing to think) or communicate to another person everything about the problem so that you (and the other) can understand it completely.
When you do this don’t worry about your explanation being coherent or organized. Just let yourself write or state however it comes out. Let whatever emotion or upset be there as well. Let everything come out. Let yourself discharge. This is important as often the blocked emotions are covering up you seeing what is really going in inside. Once this is done then go to the third step.
- The third step is to summarize the problem as you see it in the new present moment. You put it into a one or two sentence re-statement. Try to gather up everything you have said into its essence and write this down or communicate it to another.
- The fourth step is to continue expanding and contracting the problem as in steps 2 and 3 until you have an epiphany, “Aha, this is what the problem really is all about”.
- You will often find that the solution is hidden in the problem and when the essence of the problem is clear often the solution will stare you in the face.
With it will come the awareness of the right actions to take: “Well the reason I don’t complete my projects is because I am afraid that people will like me if I do a good job and underneath the face I present to the world I feel I am no good. I find it uncomfortable when people like me. What I need to do is have people understand what I am going through and just go ahead and allow myself to be liked!”
What may happen this week is that you start getting more and more insights about your difficulties and start solving your problems! This would be absolutely wonderful.
If this happens rejoice but keep practicing this technique for a few minutes every day on some of the smaller problems you have so that you can really master this strategy.
Problem-Resolver Tool # 3
Outside Perspective Tool - Week 3
This problem solver tool builds on the previous other techniques.
Sometimes our problems are the result of a point of view that we are taking about the problem and we are not seeing the problem from a realistic angle. If we change the point of view on the problem we may see aspects of the problem we are not seeing and see a solution.
Here’s the exercise.
- In a room where you are private and cannot be heard, set-up two chairs directly across from and facing one another.
- Sit on one chair and imagine that your wise self or divine essence or god or the Great Spirit (or whatever name you want to give to that beingness) is sitting across from you.
- Communicate with full expression to that being what it is that you are dealing with in your life. eg. “Wise Self, I am having such a rough time right now with money. I can’t stand it. I always seem to never have enough even though I make a good income. I am just tired of this problem…” Be sure to get it across fully even with the emotion there. (Your Wise Self will not reply with a lightning bolt if you get mad it him/her).
- When you feel that you have fully gotten across the communication sit on the other chair.
- Get a sense of you being your divine, wise self or God. You don’t have to fully be that, just have a sense of being that being.
- Communicate back to yourself by starting off with the sentence, “From my perspective this is what I am seeing…” Just say whatever comes out whether it seems true or not. Then complete the sentence “This is what I see the solution to the problem is…” If there is not a new understanding of the problem then repeat steps 2- 6 until a new understanding occurs. Write down the new understanding or the solution.
This can also be done with a journal if you cannot be private. Just you pretend you are writing to your wise self or a divine being and then that divine being communicates back to you. You can also do this exercise walking in the forest or in any open secluded outside place.
Problem-Resolver Tool # 4
Body Intuition – Week 4
In the last 3 weeks we have concentrated on techniques that help to clarify issues that you might deal with at anytime in life. These strategies assist you to go beyond the normal defensive filters of the mind to reveal what is actually going on underneath these mental barriers. Each of these strategies have been developmental i.e. each strategy has been built on and expanded the one before. Hopefully you have been practicing these optimally at least once a day and if not 3-4 times a week.
If you have not been practicing these, recommit to doing them and establish a time where you do these once a day. Hopefully by now you have made a few breakthroughs in the understanding of what some of your problems are really all about.
I’d like to move now onto the subject of intuition and give you some training to develop this skill.
- The first thing to understand about intuition is what it is. Basically intuition is an inner sense beyond the rational mind that gives you information or direction in an area where guidance is needed.
- The second thing to understand is that nature of this sense is connected to the body.
The inner senses are the same as our outer senses: seeing, touching, hearing, smelling and tasting except they are directed to your inner environment. When you close your eyes and feel the heaviness of sadness in your heart you are “touching” an inner experience. When you close your eyes and feel happiness and you see light in your head you are “seeing” an inner experience.
Intuitive people that say they “hear” their deceased mother speaking to them. Often they do not hear the sounds emanating from the outside. They innerly perceive the thoughts of that person being spoken to them. People that say they can see a physical aliment inside an individual will tell you that they are “seeing” this not on the outside but inside their own head. So intuition is very much a kinesthetic experience. It is connected to the body just like the outer senses.
- The third thing is that most people are stronger in one intuitive sense compared to the others. Some people are more clairaudient (inner hearing). Others are more clairvoyant (inner seeing). Others are more clairsentient (inner feeling). So it important to learn in what area you are stronger.
- The fourth thing is that it is easier to become intuitive if you use choice questions. Choice questions are questions of right or not right, yes or no, etc.
With this understanding in mind, here is a way to begin developing your intuition. The best way is to notice how your body “feels” in regards to something you have already experienced as being right or not right and then begins to notice the way your body feels whenever you need direction in a new area of your life.
Here’s the exercise:
- Think of something you did in the past that was right for you to do.
- Notice where you feel that rightness in your body. Is it in your heart, stomach, legs etc or outside your body? Notice all the sensations in the categories of you seeing, feeling, hearing, etc. Is the feeling light or heavy, does it have a sensation like smoothness, roughness, fluidness, solidness, brightness, darkness. Is there a sound to the sensation? Does it make you move forwards,backwards, left or right?
- Now think of doing the opposite to that same thing you did in the past. Examine where the feeling of that is in your body (or outside your body) and all the sensations as before.
- Go back and forth on this several times.
Try this on another experience that you did that was right for you.
This will establish for yourself your body experience of what is right and not right.
Do this every day for 15 minutes each day to develop your intuition.
Once you have established how your body feels with a right decision and a not-right decision begin practicing during the day with simple choices. Avoid using the word “wrong “as it can engender a sense of guilt which can add a sense that can confuse the other senses. Example “Should I walk down this street”, “Should I call this person now?” etc. Avoid any major decisions for the moment.
This is an important skill to develop in your life and I would suggest that you continue throughout your life doing this exercise to develop your intuition. It’s one of those essential life skills we should all have.
Problem Resolver Tool # 5
Making Choices – Week 5
Last week you got some training on how to develop your intuition. As you did this exercise you will have started to get a sense of what feels right for you and not right for you based on your body experience. This skill is so important for you to develop in life. We have so many choices to make in our modern world and often very little time to make them so we have to develop this skill to navigate in our lives.
Continue this week practicing the body sense of what is right or not-right whenever you have to make choices. A very valuable way to practice this is with your diet. Before you choose a food to eat, place the food in your hand and ask your body if this is good for you and listen to what it indicates…then eat the food and notice how you feel afterwards. This is a great way to get some feedback on your intuition.
There will be times when you notice that a food felt good to eat and after you ate it you felt better. For instance, I have noticed that my body really likes the dark leafy greens like kale, collard greens and romaine lettuce. It also loves spaghetti squash. If I have even a tiny bit of sugar I feel bad. I became aware of this doing this exercise. I have done this with my diet and I am now eating the food my body intuition has told me it likes and I am getting healthier.
So here is the next problem-resolver tool. It is builds on the intuition exercise and the speaking exercises from the other weeks.
Whenever you have a choice to make between two options here’s what you can do.
Set up two chairs in a room and designate one to represent the one choice and the other chair to be the other choice.
- Sit in one chair and notice what your body is feeling. Say aloud to yourself what the choice is; “This is the choice of choosing…” Does it feel right or not-right according to the way your body feels “right” and “not-right” from last week’s exercise.
- Sit in the other chair and notice what your body is feeling. Say aloud to yourself what the choice is; “This is the choice of choosing…” Does it feel right or not-right according to the way your body feels “right” and “not-right” from last week’s exercise.
- Do this over and over again until your body-sense is clearer.
- For further information on the choices sit in the chairs again and then as in the Soul-Speak exercise speak out loud whatever it is that comes to mind while sitting on each chair.
- Do this until there is greater clarity on your choices.
Here are a number of things that could happen and what to do if they occur:
- You get a clear sense that one choice is better than the other.
- You get a clear sense that either option will work out. You can choose either and make it happen.
- You get a sense that you need to get more information, do something, talk to someone, etc before you make the choice. If so go ahead and take that action before making the choice.
- You get the sense that there is another option that you have not considered. If so set up another chair and do Soul-speak with the sentence… “Another option is...”
- You don’t get a clear sense of what is right or not-right. If so continue doing the exercise again and again or at another time until you get a clear sense that fits into the categories 1-4 above. Sometimes the reason that we still stay confused is because there is another option available that we aren’t seeing.
What you can do in this case is to set-up another chair as in step 4 and do the Outside Perspective technique getting into the beingness of your wise self and then complete the sentence, “From my perspective here is another choice I see…”
Sometimes getting clear on a choice presents another problem…the problem of how put that choice into action e.g. I feel like I need to sell my house but I am afraid to do this.
In this case you can do the Soul-Speak exercise on the choice or any other of the Problem Resolver techniques 1, 2 or 3.
Problem Solver Tool # 6
Receiving Inspiration – Week 6
Sometimes the problem with problems is not so much with the problem it’s with us. We can’t seem to leave the problem alone. We are constantly mulling over the problem. We become obsessed with trying to solve it. We are plagued by it and can’t seem to stop thinking about it. Our constant pre-occupation with it eats away at our peace of mind.
What is really happening is that we looking for a solution to the problem but at the same time resisting the problem being there. We want the solution but not the problem. If we continue pushing away the problem we won’t find the solution because the solution is hidden in the problem. So we look for the solution but because it is hidden in the problem we only attract the problem. Then we push it away again. With the constant push/pull there is no room in our awareness for a solution to appear.
If we are going to find a solution we are going to have to allow our minds to do both but not at the same time: focus on the problem exclusively without trying to find a solution and then allow space for a solution to appear without the problem being there.
Here’s what we can do.
- Find a quiet place where you can be undisturbed for about 15 – 20 minutes. Take some deep breaths and allow the problem to enter your mind.
- Continue taking some long slow deep breaths and allow yourself to fully experience the problem. Experience it as fully as you can in its entirety. Notice everything about it: the thoughts, feelings including how it feels in your body. Go into it. Feel it. Surrender to it. If emotions come, let them be there. Let everything about the problem be there. Do this for about10 minutes.
- Then silently say to yourself “I let go of this problem and entrust it to my Wise Self to inspire me with a solution within the next 24 hours”.
- Allow yourself to let go of the problem and trust that a solution will come. Do this as an experiment. Take in some more deep breaths with exhalations and relax, letting your mind be open as you let go of the problem. Allow yourself to be in a relaxed receptive state of mind for another 10 minutes. If you notice your attention going to the problem just say the statement again.
- If an inspiration about the problem does not come, get up and go about your daily life. Don’t pay any more attention to the problem for 24 hours unless an inspiration comes that gives you some insight into what the problem really is or a possible solution appears. If you notice you are thinking about the problem within the 24-hour period just say the above statement again. Make sure you carry a small notepad with you in case an insight comes and then put the notepad beside your bed at night in case you wake up in the middle of the night with an insight as often this will happen.
- Be prepared to have an answer also come from outside yourself. This answer may come from someone else randomly saying something related to the problem just as you were thinking about it a direction to take. There may be a coincidence or a synchronicity that occurs. For instance you may be thinking you should take some time off and that next morning in busy rush-hour traffic you see a license plate with the words “Relax” on it. This often happens.
This is the final problem solving tool in the course.
Continue using these to create a happier life for yourself.
Hopefully now that you have these Problem-Resolver tools in your life skills tool kit you will be more confident in facing problems and be able to solve most of them. The result will be more goals achieved in your life and more satisfaction.
There may be times however that some outside help can move you faster towards solutions. If you ever get really stuck check out the information on Clearing on my website: www.AwakenTheGuruInYou.com then e-mail me at the above e-mail address and I will give you a free exploratory session to explore where you are stuck and get you moving to where you want to go.
Blessings to you on your journey
A belief is a point of view, a perspective and way of seeing things.
When we believe something we tend to only see the things that support our belief and ignore those things that don't. In other words, believing is seeing or when we believe it, we see it.
When belief is erroneous it can cause great suffering.
There are so many decisions to make in life.
We think that freedom is having lots of choices, but when we have too many options, we then feel confined by our indecision. Too much choice is a blessing and a curse.
Sometimes, when I have difficulty choosing between different options, I resort to what I call the “Ultimate Context”. A context is a point of view or a framework in which to consider a problem.
For many people the world seems to be getting more insecure and crazy.
We are feeling susceptible to the disruption on the planet and it's adding to the overwhelm we experience in our lives. The outer stress can infiltrate our world frustrating our attainment of what we dearly want.
Some people have a vague feeling that they are not in the driver’s seat in their lives. We might conclude we are hopeless to change anything and we just have to go “with the flow”…let go and let god as they say.
“I had this feeling in my chest - my chest was very big and spacious and wide and open. Everyone and everything was beautiful. It was a wonderful feeling, and I felt so me, like I was residing in my own groove, that I was home, and that everything was just as it was supposed to be, comfortable, warm, safe”
—Beth Clark,Yoga/Meditation Instructor, Kingston, Ontario
- Painful Blessings by Rob Brezny read by Russell Scott with a commentary
- Two Words that Can Create Havoc in Your Life (maybe for a long, long time?)
- Why Do Affirmations Sometimes Fail?
- Transforming Bitterness
- Mr Potato Head's Awakening Experience
- Besides Stocking Up on Bathroom Tissue - Is There Another Opportunity in this Crisis?
- Problem Resolver Course
- Let's Stop Believing - Just for One Day
- The Ultimate Context Tool for Making Decisions.
- Owning Your Own Universe Project