Jump into Gratitude when you get grumpy about another person

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Don’t Believe Your Own Thinking Game #2: Jump to Gratitude

 

This is a learning game. They all will be.

 

Stand on some spot that you’ll call and feel as the “blame spot.” Once there, think more consciously the blame thoughts you are already thinking about some other “bad/ imperfect/ to blame/ yucky” person in your life.

GET INTO IT. FEEL YOURSELF SLUMP OVER AND TIGHTEN YOUR BODY AND CRUNCH DOWN ON YOUR BREATHING WHEN YOU THINK THE BLAME THOUGHTS.

Then, relax a bit.

Stand up straighter.

Look at something real, preferably nature outside.

Take a deep breath.

Wiggle your body from fingers to toes.

And then…..

Now JUMP, really, Jump to another spot, and in that spot say aloud six gratitudes.

Three gratitudes for life in general.

Three gratitudes/ appreciations for the “bad/ yucky” person.

Feel what happens to your body, mind, heart, soul and breathing as you do then.

NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE. = LEARNING.

 

Then SLINK back to the blame spot, and have those crappy thoughts, and notice: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE WHEN YOU choose the crappy thoughts and ….. what crappy feelings and body sensations and breathing results.

 

And take the deep breath, and wiggle and straighten to a fuller you and once more jump again to the six gratitudes. Three about life. Three about the other.

And feel the differences, which is to say: learn. 

 

This isn’t bullshitting.

This is core to a good life.

We can choose the blame spot, and ….. happens.

We can choose/ jump to the gratitude and appreciation spot and … happens.

 

Notice: this isn’t being “good.”

This is being smart/ wise/ kind to ourselves.

 

We’ve already experienced the power of gratitude.

And we’ve made it explicit that learning is noticing a difference that makes a difference.

Here we are jumping to a different spot, to have a gratitude based outlook on reality.

Super-power health and liberation pathway #5: Real Learning = Noticing Differences that make a Difference

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Day Five: Super-Power Happiness and Liberation Pathway #5: 

Real Learning = Trying out and Noticing Differences; 

Brain Plasticity at almost any moment

 

Try this: interlace your fingers.

Do it slowly.

Then fast.

Then fast several times.

 

Notice that you’ll always put the same set of fingers on top, the same thumb on top, same index finger, all the way down to the same pinkie on top. It’s either a right over left thing, or a left over right.

This may seem like a right / left hand thing, but it isn’t. I’ve met enough people of both the left and right hand persuasions who did it one way or the other to realize: somewhere along the line we pick a grove, and we just stick with it.

This is one function of the brain: to find a habit, and keep it up.

 

Whatever grove you’ve created in your brain with this movement has become so well worn, that it takes some doing/ thinking/ awareness/ slowing down to create the opposite and non-habitual interlocking.

This seems like perhaps a “waste” of our time, except that it’s such a simple way to physically and directly realize an obvious truth: if we want to get out of SOS (same old stuff; same old sh..), it might take some awareness and slowly down and actual discovery mentality to find a new path.

 

So, let’s try with the hand interlacing thing….

 

Change Your Life by Changing your Movement Game #1

Interlace your fingers the habitual way.

Look at and feel how this is.

Now, take your hands apart and come together SLOWLY, and

Interlace your fingers the non-habitual way. If the left thumb and forefinger are usually on top, do the right set.

If the right thumb and forefinger are usually on top, do the left set.

When you have your hands in the non-habitual mode, wiggle them around together and feel how “odd” and “unusual” this feels.

Even though this feels “off” your brain is learning by noticing the difference of this “off.”

Real learning doesn’t need you to be able to describe this difference.

Most physical learning is deeper and more subtle than words can ever express.

 

 

Let’s play a game that helps make this more clear and more fun, and then I’ll share with you my good fortune at having learned the Feldenkrais Method®, from which this clarity about “learning to learn” derived.

 

Here’s the game:

Learning to Learn by noticing differences (in movement ) game #2: Skip newly

First, experience the habitual:  skip in the usual way, right/right and then left/ left.

Do that for awhile.

Smile while you do it, because most likely you haven’t skipped for awhile.

Now, create

New pattern #1: Skip twice on your right foot and three times on your left.

Then go back to “normal.”

Then back to twice right/ three times left.

 

New pattern #2: Skip twice left and three times right.

Back to normal.

Back to the twice left/ three right.

 

New Pattern #3: Skip three times each side

Back to normal

Back to three times each side

 

New pattern #4: Skip 4 left and 3 right

Back to normal

Now, 4 right and 3 left

 

And you can now play with just about any pattern that comes to you.

Notice how each “wakes you up”

Notice how fun this is.

 

Not to notice, but to realize: this is real learning.

Not to notice, but to realize: you now have many neurological pathways you didn’t have before you started this game.

Smile and sense your whole body and your emotional and spiritual being as well.

What difference do you notice?

 

And what does this tell us about being human?

And what does this tell us about life?

 

We can change.

And we need to change to change.

That’s what all these games are about.

 

And, let’s go back to the baby stage.

They have no crawling or walking or talking program.

That’s all learned.

How?

Trying out things.

Ba ba ba ma ma ma

Noticing differences.

Right hand pushes. Left hand pushes.

Noticing differences.

Hands touch face, hands touch feet.

Noticing differences.

Rolling to belly, rolling back to the back.

Noticing differences.

 

This is a simple game, and a huge game and many will be reluctant because you have to get off your chair, but so be it….

 

Moving in new ways to explore our brain / body/ movement game #3:

Lay on the floor on your back.

Roll to your belly.

Roll back.

Do this slower and notice what you can notice about how you do this.

 

Now, with awareness, try these three ways:

Rolling from back to belly leading with your head and eyes.

 

Two: Rolling from back to belly and back again leading with your ribs and shoulders.

 

Three: Rolling from back to belly and back again leading with your pelvis and legs.

 

They all work.

They are all very different.

 

Do this a couple of times a day and guess what else will improve?

Yep.

Your sex.

 

And what is the Feldenkrais Method®

 

When I was about 55, I was in “pretty good” shape for my age. I had not lived a sedentary life. I’d been inspirited to get involved in daily action of carpentry and garden design and garden making (no maintenance of other people’s gardens, thanks) as part of the Gurdjieff work.

The work, as I’ve said, of sensing arms and legs full time as an ongoing meditation.

That had been a great way to wake up to the fullness of life.

Also a way to experience various aches and pains.

 

And, that work taking place in the Bay Area, and my always having an amazing set of luck in finding the most amazing pathways to healing and awakening, I’d come across the Feldenkrais Method®, a method of slow movement that re-taught the body how to move and by discovering new and easier and more fun and less stuck pathways, almost always helped with neck, back or shoulder pain.

For years I’d been telling anyone with a neck, back or shoulder (or hip, or knee, almost any body issue) to “go see a Feldenkrais person.”

And then......

 

At fifty five my girlfriend at the time, the above mentioned yoga teacher Celeste, was handed a postcard a friend of hers had received about a weekend workshop in the Feldenkrais Method®. (The luck thing: a card, second hand).

We went.

I was expecting some nice body relaxation.

I came home feeling as if I was twelve years old.

The workshop had been a “teaser” for a four year training.

What better could I do at that stage of my life? Sign me up.

 

This work was far more fun and profound than I could ever have imagined. Over and over we started movements that seemed more or less impossible, and then slowly, not by effort, but by variation and slowing down and resting between and using awareness and learning instead of effort, again and again, we all of us, no matter what level, made huge and fun progress.

Four years of eight weeks worth. Three weeks in the winter. Five in the summer.

 

Then I was a practitioner. Want to move, think and feel younger and smarter? Try this work!!

 

And who was Moshe Feldenkrais?

An amazing man, who’d started out determined to discover life on his/ its own terms. Sick of rigid Jewish life in Poland, he’d walked to Palestine when he was fourteen, in 1918. At first alone and then more and more joined.

He made a life there as a day laborer, going to night school, and quickly discovering his ability to tutor others in any subject.

But this was Jews vs Arabs, and the British like to stir up the conflict.

Arabs, as part of their traditional dress, included knives in their attire. Jews didn’t.

This made the street conflicts rough for the Jews.

Moshe witnessed himself and his friends getting their asses kicked when they tried the level of jujitsu they had taught themselves.

He invented a move to take advantage of the natural startle hands to the face reaction when I knife is coming toward your head. Turned this reaction into a judo-like move to disarm and better the knife welder.

Included this in a book, written in Hebrew for self-defense.

Had to leave Palestine because the British weren’t fond of such books.

Went to the Sorbonne in Paris, toward a PhD in science and physics.

Met the founder of judo in Paris, showed him the book, got set up at the first European teacher of judo.

 

So here is Moshe, smart and studying physics with Madam Cure among others.

Physically brilliant as a judo teacher.

And… he wrecks his knees being an over vigorous soccer player.

Goes to a doc.

Who says, “We can operate, but there’s a fifty-fifty chance of you being crippled.”

Moshe: “I’m a scientist. I can flip a coin for fifty-fifty.”

 

He lays down on the floor and re-discovers how someone with almost worthless knees could function well in the physical world.

Discovered in his re-discovery : ribs, toes, spine, neck, breathing, learning how to learn.

On and on.

His discoveries cure him, and become obvious as highly valuable to musicians and injured folk and special needs children and anyone with brain injury, and anyone high level who wants to go to higher.

(Our website?  http://BecomeMoreAmazing.com  . This Feldenkrais® work is one way. Our coaching is another. Getting present to the enlightened moment of now, is another. Sex every day is another. In fact: every pathways of this book: your ticket to become more amazing.)

In his seventies, Moshe had worthless knees, the kneecaps of which could rotate almost directly to the side. And, with careful awareness he could not only walk and dance and teach, but throw far younger men in judo. Oh, well. That’s Moshe.

His gift to us all: understanding what real learning is.

Create little differences.

Go about them with less speed and less force and vastly more awareness.

Increase awareness.

Increase function.

Re-learn how to learn.

 

If this is getting to sound theoretical: go skip again in new patterns.

Roll over noticing how different it is when you lead with your hips/ pelvis and legs.

Smile.

Feel the difference that just that makes.

Stand, smile, take a deep breath and wiggle your hands somewhere above your head.

See what difference that makes.

 

Good.

  

This is an amazing tool. Whether you are an athlete who wants to get even better, or a “normal” person with a back, neck or shoulder pain, or a musician who would delight to go to the next level, this sort of brain/ body/ learning by trying the non-habitual and noticing the differences is a wonderful tool.

 

And, as we’ve already seen before, when we want to improve our love life.

Try the habitual grumpy response: the usual / “normal” human way to relationship misery, this story: “you are to blame for my feeling bad”.

Jump to another spot and try this perspective: gratitude.

What is the difference?

 

Go back to the grumpy, “my partner is all the problem” spot.

How does that feel, again? What is the difference from being in gratitude.

Now jump to a new spot, the just now, just present spot.

How does that feel different?

 

So much of life and love and enlightenment comes from being in reality vs in some set of words in our head about how the other person “should” or “shouldn’t” be.

When we go from spot to spot and feel and perceive deeply how our different attitudes and perspectives color and shape our reality, we can begin to see what an open and delightful game life could be.

 

And lust?

How can sex be improved with another perspective?

Try these two perspectives out for now:

One: touch is great. Let me touch my partner for 3 to 5 minutes on the hand, face, or chest, just as a one way gift.

Two: sex is about being present to sensations in the moment. Don’t try for anything more. Breathe deeply and if at all possible, slow down.

Thrash less.

Aware more.

 

Good.

Liberation & Happiness "Super-Power" #3: Touch -----Want Better Sex? Rub your own hand, rub your partner's hand.

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Day Three: Super-Power Liberation & Happiness Pathway #3:

Touch

 

We’ve already started touch. You held hands while saying awarenesses aloud. You did notice a difference, right?

Awareness is wonderful, “Now I am aware….” Fill it in, now, this now, it’s always a new now, right?

And notice: where did you pick to be present?

And now, find your partner, or a friend, and hold hands (or imagine) hold hands, and share “Now I am aware…”

What is the difference?

This is life: awareness.

Learning as noticing difference.

Alert life: we get to make a choice.

 

And one choice that is often ignored, and then thrown into the sex pot to make up for the neglect of the rest of our life:

Touch.

We need touch.

We starve without touch. 

We are mammals.

If you don’t have a partner, try to hug two or three people a day.

If you can’t hug two or three people a day, hug a tree or two. Shake hands.

Hug yourself. Go into a room, and feel a vibration of connectedness and imagine hugging everyone, from a feeling of abundance. Humans deserve touch. Imagine hugging from giving yourself and another person what the real mammal in you and the real mammal in them deserves.

 

And saving the world?

There are homeless. There is climate collapse. There is racism and sexism. There is gun violence.

This can’t be ignored. And still, as we help to heal these “problems” we are mammals. We are in a present. There are other mammal/ people around us.

And all around us are people who could thrive with hugs and being present. Are you starting to feel and realize that life is a big story, a big challenge?

 

And with every kindness that calls for a partner, there is always a way to start on our own. We can use touch as a “wake up” call with one hand to another.

Right now.

You don’t have to wait to be present.

You don’t have to wait for kind and awakened touch.

Hand to hand.

Now.

This is available to us. Almost everywhere we are, if we aren’t using our hands for driving say. Even at the computer, a little short “break” from the ongoing rush, especially if we stand up and do this, can be of immense benefit.

Do what?

Rub/ caress/ explore/ massage/ touch one of our hands with the other.

 

We can sneak in a small dose while sitting at a boring meeting, or while walking to our car.

And if you give yourselves three minutes, right now, that will be what this book is for: a chance to transform your life. By small and real actions that we call “games.” Let’s play….

 

Touching Hands Game #1: One hand touches/ caresses/ explores the other.

Set a timer. Three minutes. (Seems “long.” And, do you deserve three minutes of self-kindness?)

Use your non-dominant hand as the “giving hand.” 

Use your dominant hand as the “receiving hand.”

(E.g., if you are right handed, the left hand will caress/ touch/ explore the right hand. If left handed, your right hand will caress/ touch/ explore your left hand.)

For three minutes, go slowly, and explore one hand with the other.

As you caress/ touch/ explore one hand with the other, be present at three levels as we learned in day two:

Bottom Level: Sense your pelvis feet and gravity.

Mid- level: Feel your breathing, ribs and of course, both hands and sets of fingers

Top- layer: Notice what you are hearing and seeing and how the air is coming in and out of your nose.

This is to treat touch as sacred.

THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF SACRED AND MINDFUL SEX.

Go for three minutes.

If you feel / “think” ( as the words in our heads that passes as thinking, but isn’t) you are wasting time, notice that. And come back to the present of being present to one hand with the other.

 

When it’s over, notice the difference in the two hands.

With a few notes, perhaps, right here…

 

 

 

PS: What is the receiving hand grateful for? What is the giving hand grateful for? You might add that to your gratitude journal.

 

 

If you have a partner doing this with their hands at the same time, share your awarenesses.

 

 

This is simple.

Except…. notice your resistance: do I have three minutes to be nice to myself?

Do you feel silly, to be being kind and loving to yourself?

 

Notice the gratitude of the hand receiving.

Notice the gratitude and learning of the hand giving.

 

Be alert: how well do you think this would help your connection to your partner?

If you don’t have a partner, notice how this might help you connect to a partner when you do have one. ( If you want that. )

 

And… if you do have a partner, this is a wonderful beginner’s step to having sex every day: You rub/ caress/ explore their hand for three minutes. They do the same for you.

 

Touching your Partner’s Hand, for three minutes:

The beginnings of Mindful and Fabulous Sex

 

One of the greatest shortfalls in normal, and often boring, and frequently avoided, sex, is that it almost entirely genital and is all supposed to be wham bam full speed almost instantly.

Very little, if any, time is devoted to letting one partner be the recipient, the receiver, the you-are-being-loved one.

This is tragic.  Non-reciprocal sex is hugely important.

Huh?

Non-reciprocal sex is hugely important.

 

How do I know that?

We have sex once or more a day, and one fuel that keeps that happening is a mindful sex practice that we allow / commit ourselves to almost every day.

 

Where did I learn this?

I had the immense good and bad fortune to be in a very messy group, training in Female Orgasm, that claimed to be trying for mindful sex.

It failed, but at least it tried.

And it had a seemingly bizarre and very powerfully wonderful practice: the man ( or one partner in a lesbian couple) would stroke, very VERY slowly and gently the clitoris of the receiving partner.

The “stroker” kept all their clothes on.

The “receiver” took off her panties.

The “meditation” — since the goal was to be present without a goal of climax and without the “warming up” for sex after— was by a timer, 2 minute leg rub, 13 minute clitoris stroking, 2 minute calm down.

After, you shared one moment’s awareness of sensation. You got up. You got dressed. You didn’t have sex. This didn’t take place on a bed.

You  and your various partners in this training, usually never had “sex” sex.

This was a very interesting way to connect with people. Especially for someone in his late sixties. Later, this will be in our book as an unusual, but extremely beneficial game that will be a subset of the “super-power liberation and happiness” pathway of SEX EVERY DAY. But not for awhile. Let’s start very very simply. Hand caress/ touch/ massage. 

Instead of the clitoris receiving, one hand receives. A big difference.

And then again, not: the hand has not as many pleasure receptors, but it does have a huge number of wirings in our brain.

And, to “just” receive is something we are usually extremely limited in.

 

This is a way of pleasure and relaxation and telling our partner’s brains and inner being: you are important. You matter. I have time and willingness to be present to you in a very real and non-bullshit way.

This is good. Let’ do it…

 

Day Two: Partners Take 2 minute turns touching/ caressing/ exploring one of the other person’s hands.

That’s it.

The giver uses two hands.

Go slowly.

Be curious and exploratory.

Sense your body in all three levels as you give.

Listen to what you feel as you give.

 

Receiver: listen not just to what you are receiving in your hand, but to what is happening at all three levels of your body.

 

After the two minutes take a bit of a break with several deep deep breaths. 

 

Then go the other way, before talking.

 

Then another break.

 

And then share, how was this as a giver. How was this to be the receiver.

 

Here’s a crucial deal.

I’m going to say what your body and soul wants to hear: do this every day.

I’m going to say what your “I’m too busy” robot will hate to hear: do this every day.

I’m going to say something the stuck in your rut you will love and hate to hear: do this every day.

 

The brain: one use, to stay stuck in our patterns.

The brain, best use: discover what happens new and now when you do, try, open to, explore, something new.

 

Make it the second most important daily exercise.

The first most important DAILY exercise: 

If you are alone, write gratitudes.

If you have a partner, hold hands and share gratitudes. And write them, too.

 

What’s the crucial deal?

People will think, feel and act as if the six minutes this hand to hand caress/ explore/ massage and then share is “too much.”

They will be too busy.

 

Which means: no time for love making.

Which means: you don’t really like each other that much. (Well, it’s usually more than that: you are afraid to like/ love/ adore/ hunger for each other again)

Which means: you are depriving yourself of the joy of living with another person. 

 

(Why do we live together?

  1. the friendship of good talk, 
  2. the bliss of good sex, 
  3. the growth of woking through the crap all couples have)

 

So, for those in a relationship who want it fabulous or more fabulous, say gratitudes as you hold hands.

Then rub your partner’s hand. And they rub yours.

That may take all of ten minutes. 

Notice the difference that ten minutes makes in your life.

 

If you live alone.

Write in your gratitude journal.

Rub your own hand.

Take a walk and say aloud awareness in the three levels.

Don't Believe Your Own Thinking/ or Suffer

Day Four: Super-Power Liberation & Happiness Pathway #4:

We are all crazy/  Don’t Believe Your Own Thinking

 

Here is some sad but true news: we are all crazy.

And…

Here’s is some liberating and amusing news: we are all crazy.

We love someone, and we obsess about how they need to change.

In spite of a lifetime of evidence, we imagine we are blameless and that any trouble is “Your fault.”

We call the kettle black: other people are selfish, or inconsiderate, or rude or any one of the traits that we pull up in our own moments of stress or forgetfulness or foolishness.

Alas: We are so SURE that if so and so would just straighten up, all would be well in the world.

If they would just CHANGE all would be good again. Of course, that we might change our behavior or our thinking or out beliefs, this doesn’t occur to us.

Usually.

 

This chapter is a chance to begin to practice this dance of jumping out of our old stuck perspective and realizing that we have the major say in our own misery.

 

Here’s a little story about a nice “turn around” with a fourteen year old that I was certain was being the “Stupid/ bad/ selfish” one.

 

It takes place in Sonoma, around 2000, in the summer. I’d gotten over the trauma of a gal named Sally Ann running off with a man named Joe, and had stopped believing my own thinking that no one else great would show up in my life.

And then Celeste did. A perky yoga teacher, who shared gardening and bike riding and a general love of nature with me.

We grew fonder and fonder of one another, and then couldn’t restrain ourselves to two residences. So I came to spend the night with her.

Off in a huff went Lara, her fourteen year old daughter. Her father and Celeste had been unhappy for many years and had been apart for almost a year, and that didn't matter to her:  she didn’t want her Mom living with her new guy.

There I was.

Off she went. In a huff. In the middle of the night. Big drama. Big show.

And she’s fourteen, right? She’s a pain in the ass, nasty to her Mom, the whole usual teenage thing.

And me in all my wisdom, decide to get all twisted about her being “selfish.”

Which I could make a great case for; after all wasn’t she throwing hissy fit after hissy fit. (I.e. acting 14).

And then a pleasant and slightly stunning light bulb went on: I was the selfish one.

When she threw her hissy fits, it upset her mom, and so Celeste and I had less fun.

This upset my selfish wish to have great times, all the time, with Celeste.

Ha!

I was a hypocrite (this has been discovered since, many times) and that was funny and a relief. She was selfish. I was selfish. So be it.

 

And here’s where that went:

One day she was over visiting us and I decided to tell her my discovery about me being the “selfish” one.

What teenager doesn’t want to hear an adult admit that they are an ass?

She lightened up and when I left to go to a garden I was caring for, she shouted out after me, “Goodbye, Selfish Chris.”

We were friends ever after, including some very interesting times when Celeste and I had amicably decided to part and Celeste found the husband that was just right for her.

 

And you?

And me?

First we can remember that this is such a common occurrence that there is a folk phrase: WHEN I STICK OUT ONE FINGER IN ACCUSATION, THREE FINGERS ARE POINTING BACK AT ME.

Second, we can make a game of this, of course.

 

Don’t Believe Your Thinking Game #1: One finger out, three back.

Think of someone you’ve got a nice juice one word condemnation for. Selfish. Lazy. Avoidant. Whatever.

Pick to accusing spot and point your hand, one finger out at some imaginary them. Let yourself be all crunched in and tight breathed when you believe this story. FEEL THE PAIN, of believing your accusing story.

Then

Stand straighter. Wiggle a little. Take a deep breath. Look at some nature if you can. And then... 

JUMP to a new spot, and pick one of the fingers that is pointing toward you. Smile and discover one way, this is you, too.

JUMP to another freedom spot, and pick another finger pointing back toward you. Smile, breathe deeply and find one more way this is you.

Alas, three fingers pointing back. JUMP a third time, and feel the third finger pointing back and find, alas, one more way this is YOU TOO. Not just you. YOU TOO.

You and the other: imperfect humans. Damn! or, Goody!

 

 

 

Now make sure you did that.

It’s not something we usually like to do.

It’s something we are very glad, once we’ve done it.

And … and the eating crow part, the admitting our own flaw part, is usually not popular.

At first. 

 

 

Here’s a not believing our own thinking game / reframe, that’a little easier to pull off, and hence can be part of our daily strategy.

When: only when we are unhappy.

You mean we can “un-do” our unhappiness?

Find out…..

 

 

 

Don’t Believe Your Own Thinking Game #2: Jump to Gratitude

 

This is a learning game. They all will be.

 

Stand on some spot that you’ll call and feel as the “blame spot.” Once there, think more consciously the blame thoughts you are already thinking about some other “bad/ imperfect/ to blame/ yucky” person in your life.

GET INTO IT. FEEL YOURSELF SLUMP OVER AND TIGHTEN YOUR BODY AND CRUNCH DOWN ON YOUR BREATHING WHEN YOU THINK THE BLAME THOUGHTS.

Then, relax a bit.

Stand up straighter.

Look at something real, preferably nature outside.

Take a deep breath.

Wiggle your body from  fingers to toes.

And then…..

Now JUMP, really, Jump to another spot, and in that spot say aloud six gratitudes.

Three gratitudes for life in general.

Three gratitudes/ appreciations for the “bad/ yucky” person.

Feel what happens to your body, mind, heart, soul and breathing as you do then.

NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE. = LEARNING.

 

Then SLINK back to the blame spot, and have those crappy thoughts, and notice: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE WHEN YOU choose the crappy thoughts and ….. what crappy feelings and body sensations and breathing results.

 

And breath and stand fuller and wiggle and then jump again to the six gratitudes. Three about life. Three about the other.

And feel the differences, which is to say: learn. 

 

This isn’t bullshitting.

This is core to a good life.

We can choose the blame spot, and ….. happens.

We can choose/ jump to the gratitude and appreciation spot and … happens.

 

Notice: this isn’t being “good.”

This is being smart/ wise/ kind to ourselves.

 

We’ve already experienced the power of gratitude.

And we’ve made it explicit that learning is noticing a difference that makes a difference.

Here we are jumping to a different spot, to have a gratitude based outlook on reality.

And experiencing the difference.

And… we can always jump back, temporarily, to the grumpy/ blame spot.

 

 

For the next game, we’ll jump again, and this time we will once more jump back and forth and compare the two choices.

This time we’ll take the route of taking a vacation from our thoughts. Later, we’ll learn that one of the questions in the immensely powerful “work of Byron Katie” is, Who or What am I without the thoughts? (see TheWork.com, if you'd like. It's pretty amazing.)

Here is a chance to play this out in three dimensions.

Which means: Jumping again.

And it’s almost the prior game, except our two choices are: the blame spot and the Being Present spot.

Many many people have discovered many many times that the present is a guaranteed refuge from most suffering. (If you aren’t being bombed or physical assaulted, and even there, some powerful freedom can be found. And… most “first world” suffering is in our beliefs. Try this game out as another fun/ easy / direct way out of first world suffering. )

 

Don’t Believe Your Own Thinking Game #3: Jumping from Believing our Thoughts into the Present Moment without Thoughts

Have a thought about the other person, and how wrong they are and how they need to change. Stand somewhere and feel this, and even allow your body to contract down and your breath and muscles to tighten down about this.

Feel the effects on you of this choice: believing your thoughts. Feel what happens to your chest, your whole body, your breathing, your emotions. 

Stand up straighter, take in some extra air, wiggle around.

Now jump.

When you land, go through the NO BODY = NOBODY, three layer game.

Say now I am aware…. and notice two things in the bottom layer.

Say now I am aware… and notice two things in the middle layer.

Say, now I am aware… and notice two things in the seeing/ hearing/ face and neck and skull layer.

 

Then, slink back to saying your thoughts to yourself and believing them. FEEL how rough this can get.

 

Again, breathe in fully, stand up straighter, wiggle yourself a bit free, and JUMP.

To a spot where you enjoy and live in awareness of your experience of life, right now. Without words or commentary. Just awareness.

 

Notice the difference. In this space of awareness, you might explore some easy movement that feels good, feels like an “energy exercise,” feels like dance or being your “real/ child/ happy” self.

 

Just move.

Pretend you are a child.

Dance without or with music.

Listen to the joy of being alive without the story to burden you.

Be happy.

Breathe and wiggle and dance and have fun.

No Body = Nobody, Enlightenment as Three Layers of "Awake"

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Let’s expand the awareness part of how we are coming to more and more “enlightenment” in our life. 

“Enlightenment” can sound like a wispy, sitting on a pillow in a serene meditation retreat on some secluded mountain thing ( disclaimer: Carol and I go twice a year to silent meditation retreats with Adyashanti in the Sierra Mountains, near Lake Tahoe. Good to do occasionally, in my opinion. Which… is just my opinion. See the prior chapter: don’t believe opinions, mine or your own.)

Enlightenment can sound like it’s a sweet way to float above the world.

AND this is a book about Love, Lust and Enlightenment

Which means: Enlightenment is something we’re going to delight in and use WHILE we are having sex.

Enlightenment is something we’re going to take advantage of to stop the stupid shit we talked about in the last chapter. Yes, we need a way out when we are going to be assholes and have our buttons pushed. How to come back to the present to leave that behind?

Yes, we are going to be assholes and push our lover/ spouse/ friend’s buttons. So be it, welcome to the human race. How can we use “enlightenment” to bring ourselves back to our real selves and out of the asshole self we’ve fallen into?

 

Glad you asked.

Strangely and wonderfully, enlightenment as we are going to present it in this book has something in common with going to the yoga studio, or taking a walk, or getting a massage, or slipping into a warm bath, or laying out on the beach for a warm rest in the sun.

Enlightenment is at least in part: getting back into the big whole amazing body we have.

ENLIGHTENMENT IS IN PART COMING OUT OF OUR “THINKING”/ WORDS IN OUR HEAD, INTO AN AWARENESS OF THE BIG AMAZING BODY WE ARE IN: TOES, FINGERS, ARMS, LEGS, SPINE, RIBS, BREATHING, GRAVITY, PELVIS, MOVEMENT, HEAD ON TOP OF THE SPINE, ANKLES, WRISTS, ELBOWS, KNEES, HIPS, SHOULDER.

Which is to say: enlightenment can be accessed instantly anywhere we are, by shifting our attention out of the “inner yammer” and back into “the body.”

Our body.

Right now.

Notice three parts of your body below your navel.

Smile.

Notice three parts of your body between your navel and your neck, which can include anything in your arms and hand.

Smile

Notice three parts of your body, as body, above your neck.

Smile.

That’s actually the first game for today:

 

Enlightenment as being Present to Your Body Game #1: Three layers.

Stand somewhere, preferably outside.

If you have to, sit, and better, almost always, to stand.

Sense your toes to your hips for both legs.

Sense your pelvis.

Notice this as three distinct areas, as well as the whole feeling of both legs from hips down to the toes.

 

Next layer.

Take some deep breaths.

Feel your ribs moving in and out as you breathe.

Feel your belly moving in and out as you breathe.

Sense your arms, both of them, from the two shoulders out to all of your fingertips.

Enjoy this.

 

Next layer:

Sense your ears and notice sound coming in.

Sense your eyes and notice light coming in.

Sense your neck and skull and find some areas to enjoy.

Smile and feel your face relaxing.

Take a breath in your nose: notice smells if there are any, and enjoy breathing no matter what.

Feel and enjoy the air coming in and out.

 

How’s that?

That’s you.

Taking a shit, that’s you.

Sitting on the meditation pillow, that’s you.

Walking to your car, that’s you.

Walking down your hallway, that’s you.

Yammering on the phone, that’s you.

Texting some oh so important thing: that’s you.

Wasting your time (my opinion) watching facebook, that’s you.

Reading this, that’s you.

And, really, really, really, play with this three layers thing.

That’s the whole thing for today.

 

Game Two of Being Present and No Body = Nobody

 

As you go through your day, notice any time you are less than happy.

Notice how many areas in your body you are present to.

JUMP to a new spot.

Sense some areas of your body in all three layers.

Notice the difference.

 

Then, slink back to the “thinking” only spot and feel the pain.

 

Then, JUMP again to noticing/ sensing/ being aware of the three levels of your body.

Notice the difference.

 

 

Noticing the difference.

That’s learning.

 

Trying something different: That’s being in charge of your own life.

It can drift.

So be it, that’s the way we are trained.

And it can go to shit, that’s the way it’s set up.

And….we can chose to do something different.

 

Almost anything different is a beginning.

Don’t think about this.

Keep playing with JUMPING when you are in a place you don’t want to be.

 

And, what is this saying: NO BODY = NOBODY.

It’s from tomorrow’s game, “being in the energy.” Sneak ahead if you want, to http://energyforsuccess.org.

It’s a five thousand year old system of Chinese energy, and one of it’s core koans is No Body = Nobody.

Recommended are “energy” exercise, that involve moving your arms or arms or feet or some interesting combination. Doing these once an hour, to shift out of the trapped life in our heads.

They are fun.

They are delightful.

Even if what is claimed ( that they hook you more quickly into “the energy” as the “source” energy of the universe) is not true, they do get you into your body.

What’s good about that?

My opinion is just my opinion.

 

Your experience is your life.

Experience NOW what being in three levels of your body in the present is like.

Does it feel like more of you is there?

 

If so, great.

 

A major danger in "love land"

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This is something we all can fall into. We are in love with another person. We admire, enjoy and even have great sex.

We go to various events, we have great discussions, we rub each other and enjoy sitting down to a good meal.

And then, gasp, they have some reaction. It can be from their past. It can be from their pattern we have helped them weave with us. It can be from being tired and disappointed with themselves. It can be from bad advice from "friends" about their need to lash out/ defend themselves more. It often is some combination of all the above, with a strong flavoring of having learned this is their childhood.

 

"Our childhood," I should say, since this is certainly something I still fall into.

 

And then what?

There is the disaster route, and that's where we often go.

This disaster route has a major flavor, and that flavor is: If you would just change, then everything would be alright.

And it's exactly how we feel, and we when are wounded and in automatic is when we are quite certain that our feelings are true. 

If you would just....

If you really loved me you would....

Everything was okay/ great/ fine until you did....

Of, even some old insidious games along the sort of "you've said before you'll stop this. And here you go again." Surely a little guilt and blame is all that need to change...

 

Wrong.

Wrong.

Wrong.

 

And so, what is the way out?

Better, what are some ways out?

 

One: skip the blame for awhile, at least in what you are going to say, and only offer sentences of gratitude to that person. I know, I know, it's the last thing we "feel" like doing, and here's the upside to Doing What We Don't Want to Do: it gets us out of the fear.

It moves us away from the fear based core that our reactionary mind is always stuck in, and back to love, which is what our real mind is always dwelling in.

Really?

Yes.

 

Two: Have two places to stand.

SPOT ONE: In one place stand and make your body like your mind: tense and rigid.

In this tense and rigid stance, and in this spot, which we'll call the "blame spot," think the blame thoughts. Think the "if you only would..." stuff. 

Notice: what happens to your emotional state, as well as what happens to your already tense body, when you think and believe these thoughts.

 

SPOT TWO: Now, go to a more curious and skeptical spot. This spot is one where you start by taking a deep breath and asking yourself: Is this thought true?

And then, ask yourself, "If this is just an opinion," what would it be like to see it as no more than my opinion? What would it be like to see the opinion as separate from me? How would life be then?

 

Three: Go outside.

Look at the sky. See if the sky demands you be any different or your partner be any different.

See if the nearby tree likes or dislikes you as you are now. Do they like or dislike your mate just now.

Imagine a tree's idea of this whole inner drama. Imagine the sky's take on all this.

 

Four: Put a smile on your face and breathe deeply.

If you can do this while outdoors, all the better.

If you can do this while outdoors, not believing the opinion all the better.

 

See what happens when you start to give yourself choices.

How does that feel?

What sort of life does that begin to open to you?

DOESN'T IT FEEL LIKE THE REAL YOU IS THE ONE WHO CAN MAKE THESE CHOICES?

 

Good.

 

For a sample coaching hour to work through any issue, of this sort or any other, give a text request to 360-317-4773.

Cheers,

Chris

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Let's do it "better" and not get stuck, doing it "right."

Let’s say you set out to do something “right.”

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This has two problems. 

One: if you aren’t doing it “right,” the way we are usually wired, we are a bit, or a lot anxious… we haven’t got it “right” yet.

Two: if you do get it “right,” you are stuck. That’s it. That’s the tip top. You have reached the end point and there is nowhere to go.

 

Now, let’s try this.

You set out to do something “better.”

This can be fun.

Because you can aim for only slightly better and have some instant improvement. And then a little more better. And a little more.

And, versus two above: there is no end. You can keep getting better and better and better.

 

And here’s some fun, in addition.

Better can be better as in “more fun.”

Or as in “more interesting.”

Faster.

Slower.

Sexier. 

Happier.

Different. 

Crazier.

Sillier.

 

The world is open to you, when you let go of perfection and doing it “right.”

 

I was coaching today, and the woman is a great student of Jesus.

I have a friend, Dick Staub, one Orcas Island, a pastor at the Orcas Island Community Church, who has written a book titled About You.

The subtitle is the cool part: Jesus came not to make us Christian, but to help us become Fully Human.

 

Fully Human seems like “better” to me. More emotional. More loving. More forgiving. More fumbling. Fully human.

And you know how stinky “good” many so-called Christians are. They are doing it “right,” and busy bossing themselves and others to some strict idea of how to be.

This is fine for stupid people, they need their rules.

 

But to be fully human is to use creativity (didn’t God create as His main gig) and intelligence and humanity and find out, what does it mean to be “fully human.”

 

And now, let’s make it concrete.

Let’s pretend there is a “right” way to raise our right arm so it is pointing directly forward.

It must be a certain speed of lifting.

It must be exactly ninety degrees when it finishes.

The body must be firm and rigid.

How UnFun to do this.

 

Now, let’s try “better” possibilities.

Slower.

Hand relaxed more.

Hand up.

Hand down.

Arm slightly out.

Arm slightly in.

Wiggling as we come up.

Bending over as we come up.

Arching our backs as we come up.

Jumping up and down as we come up.

Singing or hopping as we come up.

Variable speed.

Smiling.

Frowning.

Frown/ smile/ giggle/ whistle.

 

Isn’t that how we want to live?

 

Wild Geese

What I love about this poem, is the vulnerability she speaks to in the human condition. All of us long for connection and yet, our belonging to one another is as natural the nature of life. I love the idea of the world calling to us 'harsh and exciting' announcing each of our places in the family of things; beautiful. 

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.  ~ Mary Oliver ~